No. 9 Maryland beats MSU
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Anthony Cowan was the smallest and best player on the court when it was time for No. 9 Maryland to rally for a win at Michigan State to stay alone in first place in the Big Ten.
Cowan scored 11 of his 24 points in the final two-plus minutes, helping the Terrapins beat the Spartans 67-60 with a strong finish Saturday night.
The Terrapins (21-4, 11-3 Big Ten) scored the final 14 points of the game after trailing by seven with 3:24 left.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said the 6-foot, 180-pound Cowan has always proved critics wrong, hearing doubters say the point guard is “too little” and “not good enough” his entire life.
“He is as tough as they come, pound for pound,” Turgeon said.
Cowan had the last 11 points on three 3-pointers and two free throws. Jalen Smith finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“That’s four in a row for us on the road when everybody was wondering if we were ever going to win on the road,” Turgeon said. “It means a lot whenever you beat Michigan state in this building.”
Maryland was composed over the final minutes even when it trailed by seven points because it has a track record of coming back. It rallied from double-digit deficits to win five games this season, including one earlier this month against No. 20 Illinois.
“We’ve been resilient all year,” Cowan said.
The Spartans (17-9, 9-6) trailed by as much as 15 points in the first half and by eight early in the second half before making a surge to take a lead they could not keep.
“Championship teams make championship plays down the stretch,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman had 18 points and 11 rebounds, but he gave Smith enough space to make a 3-pointer with 3:08 remaining to start Maryland’s game-closing run.
Maryland: Hosts last-place Northwestern (6-18, 1-13 Big Ten) on Tuesday night.
Michigan State: Plays at Nebraska (7-18, 2-12) on Thursday night.