The Maryland men’s basketball team rose from No. 17 to No. 15 in the Associated Press poll released Jan. 27 after winning two Big Ten road games in the past week.
Baylor (17-1) remains No. 1, followed by Gonzaga (21-1), Kansas (16-3), San Diego State 21-0) and Florida State (17-2). The top-ranked Big Ten team is Michigan State (No. 14).
Maryland won at Northwestern Jan. 21 and at Indiana Jan. 26, and sophomore center Jalen Smith (Mount Saint Joseph) was the driving force behind both victories. Smith scored 25 points against the Wildcats, including 21 in the second half to help erase a 14-point halftime deficit. Smith scored 29 points against the Hoosiers, including the game-winning basket.
Senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. had 12 points at Northwestern and 18 at Indiana, while sophomore wing Aaron Wiggins combined for 20 points. Wiggins got off to a slow start to the season with his outside shot, but he was 5-for-9 from long range against the Wilcats and made a huge three down the stretch against the Hoosiers.
With the two wins — the first true road victories of the season — Maryland sits at 16-4 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten. Illinois and Michigan State, both of which are 7-2 in the Big Ten, are the only teams ahead of the Terps in the conference standings.
Up next for Maryland is No. 18 Iowa Jan. 30. The Hawkeyes blew out the Terps, 67-49, in Iowa City Jan. 10. Maryland couldn’t slow down sophomore guard Joe Wieskamp (26 points) and junior center Luka Garza (21 points) in that game, and those two figure to be the center of attention for Maryland Jan. 30.
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