Husker men’s basketball set to play at Maryland on back-to-back nights

The Huskers and Terrapins will clash at the XFINITY Center on both Tuesday and Wednesday with start times set for 6 p.m. (central) on both nights.
Nebraska basketball at Penn State
Courtesy: Husker Athletics

LINCOLN, Neb. (Husker Athletics) — The Nebraska men’s basketball team concludes a grueling run with a pair of games at Maryland this week. The Huskers and Terrapins will clash at the XFINITY Center on both Tuesday and Wednesday with start times set for 6 p.m. (central) on both nights.

Both games will be televised on BTN with Kevin Kugler, Brian Butch (Tues.) and Jess Settles (Wed.) on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.

The series with Maryland will end a segment of the schedule where NU played seven games in 12 days since returning to action on Feb. 6. Last season, Nebraska played seven games in the entire month of February. NU has not played more than eight games in February since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12. NU will play a minimum of nine this month and could add more as games are rescheduled.

Nebraska comes off a 62-61 win at Penn State on Sunday afternoon. The Huskers saw an 11-point second-half lead vanish before Teddy Allen’s go-ahead basket with 12.3 seconds left provided the winning margin. The Huskers won the game on the defensive end, holding Penn State to 32.3 percent shooting, including 25 percent in the second half to break a 35-all tie. Since returning to action, NU has held four of its five opponents to under 40 percent shooting.

Senior guard Kobe Webster provided the Huskers with a spark off the bench against Penn State, contributing 13 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Webster, a grad transfer who began his career at Western Illinois, averages 7.0 ppg off the bench and is third on the team with 21 3-pointers.

Maryland comes off a 72-59 win over Minnesota Sunday evening. Aaron Wiggins had a game-high 17 points to lead four Terrapins in double figures, as Maryland shot 53 percent from the field, including 10-20 from 3-point range.  Maryland jumped out to a 16-3 lead and led the rest of the evening, although Minnesota cut a 18-point second-half deficit to nine in the final minutes. Maryland led the Gophers to 32 percent shooting.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
Derrick Walker has provided a physical presence for the Huskers since becoming eligible on Jan. 10. He is averaging 5.3 points on 57 percent shooting along with 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
– The Huskers have made steady shooting improvement from 3-point range since returning from their pause. NU has improved its 3-point percentage each time out since returning on Feb. 6.

at Michigan State

.176 (3-17)

at Minnesota

.200 (3-15)

Wisconsin

.333 (5-15)

Illinois

7-20 (.350)

at Penn State

7-19 (.368)

– NU has eight 20-point performances on the season (Teddy Allen-6; Trey McGowens-1; Kobe Webster-1). In addition, NU has had nine players reach double figures at least once this season.

10 – The combined margin of the four all-time Nebraska-Maryland games in College Part. The last three games have all been decided by two points.

19 – Assists at Penn State, which ties for the second-highest total by the Huskers in a Big Ten game under Fred Hoiberg. The only time NU had more assists was on Dec. 15, 2019, against Purdue (22).

42 – Nebraska is 42nd nationally in tempo according to KenPom as of Feb. 15. The Huskers are one of only two Big Ten teams (also Illinois) in the top 100.

2017-18 – The last time NU won consecutive road games (at Rutgers, at Wisconsin, at Minnesota).

SCOUTING MARYLAND
Maryland comes into Tuesday’s game with an 11-10 record, including a 5-9 mark in Big Ten play. The Terrapins had a front-loaded Big Ten schedule with 10 ranked conference opponents in its first 13 games. Maryland has taken advantage with road wins at Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, but are just 2-5 at home in Big Ten play.

Maryland had two replace two key cogs in its Big Ten co-championship team in first-round pick Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan Jr., but returned three starters and four of its top six scorers from last season.

Coach Mark Turgeon’s team is led by junior Eric Ayala, who averages 14.2 points per game to lead a balanced attack. Maryland has three double-figure scorers and two others who average at least eight points per game. Aaron Wiggins averages 12.7 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game, while Donta Scott is at 12.2 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. Maryland shoots 46 percent as a team, including 35 percent from 3-point range.

SERIES HISTORY
Tuesday’s meeting is the 11th meeting between the two teams, all since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten in 2014-15. Maryland leads the series, 7-3, with seven of the 10 meetings decided by five points or less.  Maryland had won the first five meetings before Nebraska snapped the string with a win in College Park on Jan. 1, 2017. Maryland has been ranked in seven of the previous 10 meetings, including four times in the top-10.

Last Meeting: A short-handed Husker team gave No. 9 Maryland all it could handle in a 72-70 loss on Feb. 11, 2020.   The Huskers, who trailed by 14 in the opening minutes of the second half, used a late rally to put themselves in position to pull the upset. NU trailed 71-64 with less than a minute to play before a 6-0 run made it a one-point game. After Maryland missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Nebraska had a chance to take the lead, but Cam Mack had his potential game-winning layup blocked by Jalen Smith, who then made his first free throw with 0.7 seconds remaining before intentionally missing the second, and the clock expired on the rebound.

Haanif Cheatham led the second-half comeback by scoring 18 of his game-high 20 points in the final period. Thorir Thorbjarnarson added 15 for the Huskers, while Matej Kavas provided a big boost off the bench, chipping in 11 points.   Smith (16 points, 13 rebounds), Donta Scott (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Anthony Cowan (13 points, 10 assists) all had double-doubles for Maryland. Eric Ayala joined that trio in double figures with 16 points, as he knocked down 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports