After a 2-0 week that included a win at Michigan State, the Maryland men’s basketball team rose from No. 9 to No. 7 in the Associated Press poll released Feb. 17.
Baylor (23-1) remains No. 1, followed by Gonzaga (26-1), Kansas (22-3), San Diego State (24-0) and Dayton (23-2). Maryland (21-4 overall, 11-3 Big Ten) is the top-ranked team in the Big Ten, followed by Penn State (No. 9), Iowa (No. 20) and Ohio State (No. 25).
The Terps started their week with a shaky performance at home against Nebraska. Maryland had a 71-64 lead entering the final minute, but needed sophomore center Jalen Smith to swat away Cornhuskers sophomore guard Cam Mack’s game-winning attempt in the final seconds to secure a 72-70 win. The Terps committed 17 turnovers, their most since Jan. 10.
Maryland was far more locked in during a road test at Michigan State. Senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. drained three 3-pointers late as part of the Terps’ 14-0 run to close out a 67-60 victory, which represented Maryland’s eighth straight win overall and fourth consecutive road win. Smith had 17 points and 10 rebounds, good for his eighth straight double-double.
Next up for Maryland is Northwestern Feb. 18. The Terps erased a 14-point halftime deficit against the Wildcats in January, with Smith scoring 21 second-half points to lead the way. Former Loyola lacrosse star Pat Spencer is posting 10.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for the Wildcats (6-18, 1-13).
Maryland will close out the week at Ohio State Feb. 23. The Terps beat the Buckeyes, 67-55, in January, with Maryland holding Ohio State to 31.4 percent shooting. Ohio State (17-8, 7-7) has won five of its last six games and ranks No. 9 on KenPom, a college hoops analytics site. The Buckeyes are led by junior center Kaleb Wesson (14.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game).
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