Lincoln, NE – Maryland’s slide down the Big Ten standings was not stopped after a trip to Nebraska. James Palmer Jr. was driving to the basket, making 3-pointers from the corner, hitting mid-range jumpers. The guy seemed unstoppable.
“When you get in a rhythm, everybody knows it and they throw you the rock and you don’t think you can miss,” Palmer said after scoring 24 of his 26 points in the second half of Nebraska’s 70-66 win over Maryland on Tuesday night. “Guys were doing a great job finding me.”
Palmer, just 1 for 6 from the field in the first half, was 9 of 13 after halftime and combined with Isaiah Roby for 35 of the Cornhuskers’ 40 second-half points.
Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had all 11 of his points in the second half and added 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. He also blocked three shots.
“James, he got cooking,” Nebraska point guard Glynn Watson Jr. said. “That was big. And (Palmer and Roby) both made some plays at the end. Roby did a better job in the second half being aggressive, and that was the key to winning.”
Nebraska secured its first 20-win season since 2008. It was the first time since 1993 that the Huskers posted their 20th win in the regular season.
“It’s great,” coach Tim Miles said, “but we’re not planning on stopping here. I’ve told our guys a week ago that if you counted wins, you’ve done it wrong. If you think, ‘Oh, I think we can win 21 or 20 this year,’ you need to get your mind free of that and keep playing and keep winning.”
The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Watson blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.’s 3-point try. From there the Huskers hit six straight free throws after making only seven of their first 13.
Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Kevin Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.
“Another tough loss for us on the road,” Terps coach Mark Turgeon said. “We keep competing out here and losing by three or four. I thought we were going to get over the hump tonight.”
(the Associated Press contributed to this post)