Penn State aims to get back on track vs. visiting Maryland

NCAA Basketball

Considering the last six Big Ten Conference games Maryland played were all against ranked teams, it would seem the Terrapins will get a bit of a break when they travel to University Park, Pa., to face Penn State on Friday.

The Terrapins (10-8, 4-7 Big Ten) split the six games with wins over Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue and losses to Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. A win over Division II Wingate broke up the gauntlet.

However, though the Nittany Lions are unranked, the Terrapins have lost their last four games at Penn State.

In its latest contest, Maryland scored the final six points for a come-from-behind victory over No. 24 Purdue on Tuesday. Darryl Morsell kicked off the game-ending run with a 3-pointer at the 1:33 mark, and Eric Ayala sealed it with two free throws with 3 seconds left as the Terrapins edged the Boilermakers, 61-60.

Aaron Wiggins had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland and Ayala scored 16. The Terps made 8 of 13 treys in the second half after making just 1 of 12 in the first half.

“We had a lot of open looks in the first half,” Wiggins said. “Our mindset was to stay confident. We knew the shots would fall.”

Ayala leads the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game, Wiggins averages 12.8 points and is tied with Ayala with 28 3-pointers, and Donta Scott averages 12.7 points and leads the team with 32 3-pointers. Wiggins is averaging 15.9 points over his last eight games.

Penn State (6-8, 3-7) dropped a 72-56 decision at No. 19 Wisconsin on Tuesday, three days after posting an 81-71 victory against the Badgers in University Park, Pa. Wisconsin opened the second half on a 19-4 run to take a 17-point lead and coasted to the finish.

The Nittany Lions were held to 34.5 percent shooting (10 of 29) after the break, including 3 of 13 from the arc.

“We had some really good shots, we didn’t make them,” interim coach Jim Ferry said. “One thing I was disappointed with was that our defensive energy was affected by us not making shots tonight, and that’s a tough thing to deal with on the road against a really good Wisconsin team.”

Myreon Jones led Penn State with 14 points and John Harrar finished with 10 points and five rebounds. The 6-foot-9 senior center had averaged 10.3 rebounds — five offensive — over his previous seven games.

Jones leads the team at 15.6 points per game, followed by Izaiah Brockington (14.7), who was held to eight against the Badgers after scoring 18 on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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