No. 4 Maryland overcame Penn State’s upset bid with a late rally to earn a 70-64 win in a Big Ten opener Wednesday night.
The Terrapins outscored the Nittany Lions 25-6 in the final six-plus minutes to overcome a 13-point deficit. Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone fueled the comeback and finished with 39 points and 12 rebounds.
Stone had 16 points during the decisive run by the Terrapins, starting it with seven straight points in less than a minute. Stone’s 39 points set a program record for a freshman and his 19 free throws also set a Maryland record. Stone went 19 for 25 from the line.
“I don’t pay too much mind to it,” Stone said of the records. “I knew I was in the zone, but I wasn’t aware of any points or records. We’re trying to win the Big Ten and this is the first game. It means a lot to get this first win.”
Maryland guard Melo Trimble hit a pair of crucial 3-pointers and finished with 10 points and six assists.
Shep Garner paced Penn State with 17 points, Brandon Taylor added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Payton Banks had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Penn State (9-5, 0-1 Big Ten) took a 31-23 lead into halftime after Maryland shot 25 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.
The Terrapins (12-1, 1-0) started strong out of the break, going on a 10-2 run to tie the game 33-33. The game remained close, with Maryland taking a 40-39 lead on a free throw by Robert Carter with less than 14 minutes to play. Penn State then went on a run to take a 10-point lead with less than eight minutes left.
The Nittany Lions pushed that lead to as many as 13 before the Terrapins rallied to tie the game 60-60 on a 3-pointer by Trimble with 3:49 remaining.
“We had them down, but we need to learn how to put teams away,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “Maryland showed why they’re ranked No. 4 in the country and are one of the best teams in the Big Ten.”
After Garner hit a pair of free throws, Stone finished inside to tie it. He then hit four straight free throws to push Maryland ahead 66-62.
“I think Diamond likes the bright lights, the stage, he likes to be challenged,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We were extremely challenged today. He had 39 points and 12 rebounds, but when I watch the tape, I will probably be most pleased with his defense.”
Taylor finished a reverse layup to make it a two-point game with 57 seconds left, but Carter responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key that proved to be the dagger.
Notes: Maryland shot 33.3 percent from the field for the game, and Penn State shot 43.4 percent. The Terrapins went 27 for 38 from the foul line, while Penn State went 13 for 16. ... Garner finished with one turnover in 35 minutes. ... Penn State freshman Davis Zemgulis had eight points and three rebounds in 18 minutes. ... Penn State returns to action at Michigan at noon Saturday.