The Nebraska men’s basketball team battled for 40 minutes Wednesday night at Maryland, but the Huskers’ late comeback attempt fell short in a 79-71 loss to the Terrapins.
Nebraska, playing its third road game in four days, trailed by only three early in the second half, before Maryland used a 13-0 run to pull away. The Huskers then fell behind by many as 21 but made it close down the stretch before falling by eight.
Teddy Allen led the Huskers with 25 points, one shy of his career high. Allen was 8-of-12 from the field – including 4-of-6 from the 3-point line – while making all five of his free-throw attempts. He scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, including a personal 11-0 run that pulled Nebraska to within 10 with two minutes to play. Lat Mayen added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Huskers, while Dalano Banton chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Eric Ayala (career-high 24 points) and Aaron Wiggins (22) combined for 46 points as Maryland (13-10, 7-9 Big Ten) picked up its second win in as many nights over Nebraska (5-14, 1-11 Big Ten).
Neither team led by more than two in the early going until Mayen went on a personal 6-0 run to give the Huskers a 13-9 lead five minutes into the game. Nebraska continued to lead until Maryland took advantage of a lengthy Husker field goal drought.
The Huskers went more than five minutes without a basket, getting only a pair of free throws during a 10-2 run that put the Terrapins on top 25-20 with seven minutes left in the first half. Maryland then had its own five-minute drought without a basket, but Nebraska only outscored the Terrapins by four during that stretch.
Nebraska trailed 25-24 when Maryland ended its drought with back-to-back 3-pointers to take a seven-point lead. Allen and Mayen answered with 3-pointers of their own on Nebraska’s next two possessions, but Maryland also scored on its two possessions as the Huskers were only able to cut the lead to 35-30.
Allen then hit another 3-pointer to pull NU within two before Maryland scored the final five points of the half to take a 40-33 lead into the locker room. Allen, who didn’t score his first point until the 6:58 mark, had 10 first-half points while Mayen added 11. The Huskers shot just 38 percent in the half, but were 6-of-14 from beyond the arc. Maryland hit eight threes, turned the ball over only twice and shot 48 percent in the opening period.
Maryland scored the opening basket of the second half to take a nine-point lead before Banton knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers. With its advantage cut to three, Maryland scored the next 13 points to take a 55-39 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
The Huskers pulled to within 11 with less than 10 minutes to play, but again Maryland had an answer, using a quick 6-0 spurt to push the lead right back to 16. The Terrapins built their first 20-point lead at 72-52.
But Nebraska would not go away. Allen scored 11 straight points to cut the lead to 10 and Nebraska got it down to single digits with under a minute to play but could not complete the comeback.
After playing three road games in only four days, Nebraska will return home on Saturday to host Purdue at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.