COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jalen Smith had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Eric Ayala scored 16 and No. 9 Maryland edged Nebraska 72-70 Tuesday night to extend its winning streak to seven games and remain alone atop the Big Ten.
After the Terrapins (20-4, 10-3) let a 14-point lead dwindle to 71-70, Smith blocked a shot in the waning seconds and made a free throw on the other end to clinch it.
Donta Scott had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Maryland, and Anthony Cowan Jr. totaled 13 points and 10 assists. It was the first time since 2001 that three Terps registered double-doubles in the same game.
It was the seventh straight double-double for Smith, and the Terps needed him on both ends to improve to 14-0 at home.
Haanif Cheatham scored 20 and Thorir Thorbjarnarson added 15 for Nebraska (7-17, 2-11), which has lost nine straight and is 0-9 on the road. The Cornhuskers got back into the game by going 13 for 20 in the opening 13 minutes of the second half.
Maryland led 56-54 before Ayala sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a layup by Smith for a 10-point cushion with 4:47 to go.
Nebraska wasn’t done. Two free throws by Cam Mack cut it to 71-70 with 12 seconds left before Cowan missed the front end of a 1-and-1.
Mack then drove the lane but had his shot swatted away by the 6-foot-10 Smith, who was subsequently fouled in the chase for the loose ball with less than a second remaining. Smith made the first shot and intentionally clanged the second off the rim.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon became the fifth coach in school history to reach the 200-victory plateau. Turgeon is 200-96 since taking over for Gary Williams before the 2011-12 season.
Smith had 10 rebounds and nine points in the first half, and Maryland led 38-25 at the break after limiting the Cornhuskers to 27% shooting.
Nebraska cut an 18-10 deficit to 20-19 before Scott drilled a 3-pointer to spark a 10-0 run that put the Terps up by 11.
Cowan capped the surge with three foul shots. He went 9 for 11 at the line before halftime.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have two seniors and just one victory in 2020. No one said rebuilding in the competitive Big Ten was going to be easy.
Maryland: The Terrapins did what was necessary to keep their winning streak intact. Yeah, they started slowly against the struggling Cornhuskers, but that’s to be expected following an emotional comeback win at Illinois.
Mack was 1 for 10 from the floor, but the junior college transfer had eight assists to move past Tyronn Lue into fifth place on the school single-season list. Mack increased his assist total to 156. Lue had 152 as a senior in 1997-98 prior to an 11-year NBA career.
Nebraska hosts Wisconsin on Saturday, the rematch of a Jan. 21 game won the Badgers, 82-68.
Maryland faces Michigan State on the road Saturday, the first of two games between the teams over a two-week span.
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