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Terps maintain off Illini, go a stern check in a decent Huge Ten opener


Maryland college students stood shoulder to shoulder, clad in matching gold T-shirts, they usually erupted with every basket and whistle. The electrical energy was again at Xfinity Middle, the place the group pounded the metallic bleachers and was on its ft throughout a tense remaining couple of minutes of Maryland’s 71-66 win Friday evening over No. 16 Illinois.

The No. 22 Terrapins rewarded their followers with a riveting efficiency, profitable their Huge Ten opener to maneuver to 8-0 and ship new coach Kevin Willard his first marquee victory.

The defining sequence got here with Maryland clinging to a one-point lead and 14 seconds remaining. Senior guard Jahmir Younger sprung himself for a three-pointer that swished by way of the online, pushing the result in 4 and permitting Maryland followers to lastly have fun.

These are the video games the fan base has craved, and Willard and his Terps delivered.

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Maryland grabbed a lead lower than eight minutes into the sport and held on to that benefit till Illinois knotted it with 7:36 remaining. Maryland had led by 11 factors within the second half, however the Terps went almost seven minutes and not using a basket. After profitable their first seven video games by a median of twenty-two factors, the Terps needed to navigate a decent contest.

Within the remaining 5 minutes, neither crew led by greater than three factors — till Younger (a game-high 24 factors), a switch from Charlotte, made his largest shot this season.

With former coach Gary Williams, ESPN character Scott Van Pelt and tennis star Frances Tiafoe courtside, this Maryland crew proved it will possibly compete with the Huge Ten’s greatest.

Within the fast-paced sport, each groups made pictures at a excessive clip early on, with neither main by greater than three within the first 9 minutes. After which Maryland broke by way of. In a 20-second span, Hakim Hart hit a three-pointer, Patrick Emilien collected a rebound off a missed layup, and with Willard thrusting his arm by way of the air, urging his gamers to race down the courtroom, Younger launched one other three. The group quieted because the ball took flight after which responded with a piercing roar because it fell by way of the online.

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Illinois referred to as a timeout after that 11-0 Maryland run, which included 9 factors from Hart, and a few minutes later the Terps had turned the tight contest right into a double-digit lead.

Maryland’s lead grew to 28-16 with 8:09 to go within the half earlier than the Illini answered. The Terps dedicated turnovers on three straight possessions whereas Illinois trimmed its deficit to 3.

Hart then delivered three-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Simply earlier than the break, Julian Reese hustled for an offensive rebound that led to a different three-pointer for Younger, handing the Terps a 41-34 margin at intermission.

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Illinois (6-2) climbed again within the second half, and the sport tightened into the ultimate moments. Then Younger had the final phrase, and the group had a final roar.

Right here’s what else to find out about Maryland’s win:

Illinois has been powered by Terrence Shannon Jr., a standout guard who transferred from Texas Tech. He averages almost 20 factors per sport, and Willard considers the senior a nationwide participant of the 12 months candidate. In opposition to the Terps, he scored 21 factors, a crew excessive, however he was 0 for five from three-point vary. Within the second half, Shannon air-balled a pair of three-pointers.

When Illinois knocked off UCLA for its greatest win of the season, Shannon made eight three-pointers. In opposition to Syracuse this week, he hit 5.

Shannon scored seven factors within the remaining 10 minutes, however he couldn’t do sufficient to will his crew to a street win.

When Willard took over the Maryland program, he wanted some extent guard and added Younger as a switch. The previous DeMatha standout from Higher Marlboro had been a prolific scorer at Charlotte, scoring 1,421 factors over three seasons. For the primary time Friday evening, Younger proved he can even thrive within the Huge Ten and within the moments when his crew wants him most.

Younger attacked the rim and was deadly from the perimeter. With the Terps taking pictures nicely from three-point vary, Younger completed with a 4-for-9 mark from exterior.

He needed to regulate to a brand new position in School Park. He not feels as if he must be the first scorer and playmaker on each possession. However as Maryland’s regular level guard, he’s nonetheless racking up factors. Younger has scored in double figures in all however one sport this season and now has at the least 15 in his previous three outings.



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