CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Anthony Cowan scored 27 points, including the game-winning free throw, to lift Maryland past Illinois 92-91 in overtime on Sunday.
Justin Jackson scored 20 and Kevin Huerter added 17 for Maryland (7-3, 1-1 in Big Ten).
Leron Black led Illinois (6-3, 0-2), while Mark Alstork scored 17 and Aaron Jordan added 15.
Maryland held a commanding 45-26 lead at the half, led by Cowan’s 16 points, 9 from outside the 3-point line.
In the first half, the Terrapins shot 73.1 percent from the field, while Illinois was held to 32.4 percent at the mid-point. Illinois got hot in the second half, shooting 70 percent from the field to Maryland’s 40.7 percent.
Illinois mounted a furious comeback in the second half, taking its first lead of the game 74-73 with 1:51 left in regulation. Bruno Fernando tipped in a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime with the score tied at 75. Cowan sank a free throw with six seconds left left in overtime for the win.
It was the third loss in a row for the Illini, after losing at Wake Forest and in overtime at Northwestern in its conference opener. Maryland also was coming off two losses, at Syracuse and to Purdue at home.
After both teams turned over the ball to open the game. Maryland went on a 10-0 run before Illinois coach Brad Underwood went to the bench early, removing all five starters. Illinois slowly crept back into the game, at one point pulling to within three points, 14-11, before the Terrapins began to systematically pound the ball inside and outside against a smaller Illinois team for its commanding halftime lead.
BIG PICTURE: Maryland’s zone defense stifled Illinois early in the game, and the Terrapins took advantage of its height to offset Illinois’ speed and quickness.
UP NEXT: Maryland hosts Ohio on Thursday, while Illinois plays Austin Peay at home on Wednesday.
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