Maryland got a much-needed win for their standing in the Big Ten and to improve their NCAA tournament resume. Forward Jalen Smith sank a driving floater with 3.8 seconds to help lead the Terrapins to an impressive 74-72 win over No. 24 Nebraska.
Ricky Lindo Jr. knocked away a pass under the basket to seal the Maryland win. Head coach Mark Turgeon was elated.
Smith, the prized five-star freshman from Baltimore, scored Maryland’s final seven points over the final 2:44. He finished with 15 points and four rebounds.
Meanwhile, center Bruno Fernando dominated inside with 18 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Guard Anthony Cowan Jr. had a team-high 19 points and four assists.
Nebraska was led by Jesse Palmer Jr., who finished with a game-high 26 points, seven rebounds, five steals, and four assists.
The win was Maryland’s first against a ranked opponent since February 1996.
Their most impressive win of the season for sure after losses in each of their three previous big games — Virginia, at Purdue, and Seton Hall.
Now at 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten Conference, Maryland’s young core finally showed off their potential and certainly bolstered their resume that was lacking quality wins on a rather cupcake schedule.
As Nebraska has arrived in basketball in the Big Ten, Maryland’s ability to control the glass — outrebounded the Cornhuskers 38-28 — and make clutch shots even at home displayed how tough they can be in what is shaping out to be arguably the best conference in the nation this season.