MARY­LAND

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS -

our side. It’s kind of a mir­a­cle win,” said Tur­geon, whose team fin­ished the game on an 11-2 run af­ter trail­ing 56-48 with 4:33 re­main­ing. “We were lucky. We’re re­ally lucky to be 1-0 in the league.”

Tur­geon was re­lieved af­ter Cowan’s 3 and con­fi­dent that his team could get one more de­fen­sive stop to force over­time. But ju­nior guard An­dres Feliz, who had given Mary­land fits in his team’s sec­ond-half come­back win last sea­son at Madi­son Square Gar­den and had scored 11 points off the bench Satur­day, lost the ball and then dove into the pile, foul­ing Cowan.

Cowan made the first free throw and, af­ter Illi­nois called time­out, banged the sec­ond off the front of the rim to pre­vent the Illini to get more than a full-court heave at the buzzer. The 6-foot se­nior point guard fin­ished with 20 points, seven re­bounds and six as­sists to lead Mary­land (10-0, 1-0), while sopho­more for­ward Jalen Smith added 13 points, 14 re­bounds and three blocks. Se­nior guard Trent Fra­zier led Illi­nois (6-3, 0-1) with 13 points.

“In the end, it’s a great win, and we’ve got to en­joy it,” Tur­geon said. “But we’ve got to get our en­ergy level back. We didn’t have it to­day. Our de­fense car­ried us. I thought Stix’s de­fense around the rim was ter­rific and our re­bound­ing was good enough in a small lineup for us to win to­day. But we just weren’t very good of­fen­sively the whole game.”

The vic­tory helped the Terps, whose next game is Tues­day at Penn State, match the pro­gram-record 10-0 start by the 1998-99 team led by Steve Fran­cis.

Af­ter what Tur­geon called “the worst shootaroun­d of the year” a few hours be­fore tipoff, Mary­land made just 21 of 63 shots over­all, in­clud­ing eight of 31 3point­ers, with the game-ty­ing 3 com­ing on a bro­ken play.

Tur­geon said that his team ran a play that he called dur­ing the time­out in­cor­rectly.

“The back side we ran wrong. The first part, they just switched it, which was a ball screen pop [for an open 3-pointer]. We al­most turned it over, so you’re out of the play be­cause your tim­ing’s off,” Tur­geon said. “An­thony just goes and gets it and shoots it. That’s what hap­pened, just to be quite real with you.”

Said Cowan: “I was one that messed the play up. Luck­ily, I was able to get it back and get a good look at the bas­ket.”

When he fi­nally got the ball back from Smith, Cowan re­al­ized that Fra­zier was slow to come out on him. Cowan’s shot hit the bot­tom of the net as most in the an­nounced crowd of 16,690 was in full throat.

“Seen the guy kind of back off a lit­tle bit, I thought that gave me enough room to pull it,” said Cowan, who had hit just one of his pre­vi­ous six 3-point at­tempts in the game. “Ob­vi­ously I made it. Knocked it down. I saw the guard drive, lost it a lit­tle bit, I dove for it. Luck­ily I hit the free throw to change the lead. ”

Said Tur­geon: “We all knew what he was go­ing to do. And when he shot it, I knew it looked per­fect. I knew it was in. That’s kind of what he does. And then he stepped up and made the free throw.”

The loss was crush­ing for the Illini, which was com­ing off an 81-79 loss at home to Mi­ami in the Big Ten/ACC Chal­lenge af­ter cut­ting a 19-point deficit to one be­fore star guard Ayo Do­sunmu was called for an of­fen­sive foul with 2.7 sec­onds left.

“That was one hard, I’m not go­ing to lie,” sec­ond-year Illi­nois coach Brad Un­der­wood said of Satur­day’s game. “I’m re­ally, re­ally proud of our locker room. Mark’s got a ter­rific bas­ket­ball team that’s play­ing as well as any­body in the coun­try, to be quite hon­est. And it came down to a lit­tle bit of luck on a bro­ken play that a very good player who’s play­ing at an ex­tremely high level. That’s what four-year se­niors do. Tough. Tough.”

It was the first time Un­der­wood had been back at Xfin­ity Cen­ter since coach­ing Ok­la­homa State two years ago. On that night, the Cow­boys led by as many as 12 in the sec­ond half be­fore the Terps, led by Trim­ble, came back to win, 71-70. Mary­land won when Trim­ble made a pair of free throws with nine sec­onds re­main­ing.

“Trim­ble’s was the flop of all-time, though. He didn’t have the ball when they called the foul. At least this kid had to make a bas­ket,” Un­der­wood said. “I’ll go ev­ery day with that one, ev­ery day over Trim­ble’s ‘throw the ball up and get the foul’ call. That one was dif­fer­ent be­cause both teams of­fen­sively played at a re­ally high level. … Give Mark and his crew a lot of credit. They never gave up. They showed why they were No. 3 in the coun­try.”

Tur­geon seemed more up­set af­ter a vic­tory Satur­day than any other time dur­ing his nine sea­sons at Mary­land.

“We were re­ally self­ish again — over­drib­bling, tak­ing some bad shots, try­ing to play hero ball, try­ing to be the guy that gets us go­ing,” Tur­geon said. “We got a ways to go. We got a long ways to go of­fen­sively. But it’s nice when you can win mir­a­cle wins and learn from it, and hope­fully we’ll learn from it and be bet­ter on Tues­day.”

TONI L. SANDYS/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Mary­land guard An­thony Cowan Jr. shoots a 3-pointer to tie the game in the fi­nal minute Satur­day af­ter­noon against Illi­nois.

JULIO CORTEZ/AP

Mary­land’s Jalen Smith re­acts af­ter scor­ing a 3-point bas­ket in the sec­ond half.

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