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Cowan scores career-high 19 in win at Illinois

Anthony Cowan scored a career-high 19 points to help lift Maryland to a road victory at Illinois.

A blowout victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini earlier in the season did not lead to the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team treating their road trip to Champaigne any differently. Two years ago the Terps were ranked No. 11 in the country and suffered a rough road loss to an Illinois squad that did not end up making the NCAA Tournament. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon made sure his team was ready this time.

Behind a career-high 19-point effort from freshman guard Anthony Cowan, Maryland beat Illinois 62-56 to earn their third-straight victory.

“We had a lot of ammo to get our players dialed in,” Turgeon said. “We needed to stay confident. We had a lot of history to keep us focused.”

Illinois was clearly improved from just a few weeks ago, but Maryland was still better. Despite a slow start in which they went 3-for-13 from behind the arc in the first half, Maryland shot an overall 42.6-percent from the floor in the game and as the Illini pressed both Melo Trimble and Jaylen Brantley into taking contested jumpers, Cowan was left with minimal coverage as he made his way to the rim for easier layups or to pick up fouls.

Trimble scored 12 points, but went just 2-for-11 from 3-point range. Brantley also was more of a volume scorer in his 12-point effort. Cowan meanwhile shot 5-for-7 from the floor and made eight free throws. LG Gill provided a spark off the bench and went 3-for-6 for six points.

“We have so many scorers on the team that you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Trimble said.

While Illinois was in control of the game for the final 15 minutes of the first half, Maryland never let them pull away. The Illini built as much as an eight-point lead three and a half minutes into the second half, but a jumper and 3-pointer by Cowan sparked a Terps comeback.

Maryland battled back. A 3-pointer followed by a layup by Brantley gave Maryland the lead back with 12:04 remaining in the game. He then finished a fast-break layup off his own steal to secure their lead. Brantley himself led the Terps to a 10-3 run. Kevin Huerter and Ivan Bender helped continue it before another jumper by Brantley put Maryland ahead 53-43 with 7:38 remaining.

Maryland held Illinois without a field goal for nearly eight minutes during their run, which included 14-straight points.

Illinois was able to get back within five points with 3:05 remaining in the game, but Cowan scored eight of Maryland’s final nine points to close out the game for the win.

Maryland will remain on the road in the Midwest and will play at Iowa on Thursday.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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