By Lewis Gould
Maryland is unbeaten no more.
Mike Watkins had 15 points and 11 rebounds as Penn State beating No. 4 Maryland 76-69.
Lamar Stevens added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington each scored 14, and Myles Dread had 12 for The Nittany Lions (8-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who led for all but 1:54.
“What a home-court advantage we had tonight,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “There were situations where I couldn’t hear in the huddles. I couldn’t hear our guys on the bench.”
But Chambers could see everything unfolding in front of him, including some of the best defense he’s witnessed in his tenure.
Penn State finished with 10 blocks, 10 steals, forced 20 turnovers and held the Terrapins to 19-for-57 shooting.
Jalen Smith had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terps (10-1, 1-1) who were trying for their first 11-0 start since 1996. Maryland became the fifth top-5 team to lose to an unranked opponent this season and was followed minutes later by the sixth, No. 1 Louisville, which fell to Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Eric Ayala scored 15 points, Anthony Cowan Jr. had 14, Aaron Wiggins had 13 and Serrel Smith added 12 for the Terps.
The Nittany Lions trailed 10-9 early before taking control. They forced 12 turnovers in the first 10 minutes, fueling an 18-5 run capped by a 3-pointer from Dread that made it 27-15.
Penn State took a 40-30 lead into halftime after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Jones off an inbounds play.
The Nittany Lions led by as many as 10 with 15:19 to play, but the Terps used an 11-3 run capped by a 3-pointer from Cowan to cut the deficit to 52-50 with 10:57 left.
They wouldn’t get any closer.
“We competed in that second half,” Maryland coach Marc Turgeon said. “We tried as hard as we could try. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”