Maryland chasing regular-season sweep of Penn State

Dec 6, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Maryland Terrapins guard Jahmir Young (1) shoots around Penn State Nittany Lions forward Leo O'Boyle (11) during the second half at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams lingering near the bottom of the Big Ten standings conclude their regular season Sunday when Maryland visits Penn State at University Park, Pa.

The Nittany Lions (14-16, 8-11 Big Ten) enter the weekend tied for 10th place in the 14-team conference. The Terrapins (15-15, 7-12) are tied for 12th with only Michigan looking up at them in the league standings.

Both teams come into the matchup having lost two games in a row.

Penn State dropped road games at Iowa and Minnesota in their two most recent contests, although it has not played since last weekend. The Nittany Lions led by as many as 23 points in the first half against the Golden Gophers and held a 12-point advantage at intermission before melting down in the second half.

“We just stood around the whole second half, and that made it really hard,” Penn State coach Mike Rhoades said.

“What didn’t go well in the second half? I thought we had no pace at all, had no pace getting the ball inbounded, had no pace getting it up the court, had no pace getting into our offense.”

Puff Johnson led the way with 19 points for the Nittany Lions, while Ace Baldwin Jr. chipped in 17 points and eight assists. The two combined to shoot 7 of 10 from 3-point range and would love a similar effort against the Terrapins, who struggled defensively in their last contest.

Maryland allowed Indiana to shoot 56.4 percent from the field and 7 of 16 (43.8 percent) from 3-point range in an 83-78 defeat on March 3. Jahmir Young had 22 points for Maryland, which blew a 16-point second-half lead in losing for the fourth time in five games.

“It comes down to who’s making shots and who’s getting stops,” said Maryland forward Donta Scott, who had 15 points. “I feel like we didn’t get enough stops in transition. (The coaches) really stressed they get out in transition, but they made shots, and we fell short of making shots at the end of the game.”

Young scored 28 points as Maryland won the first meeting between the teams this season, 81-75 in overtime, on Dec. 6.

–Field Level Media

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