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Penn State 78, No. 17 Maryland 61: Sweet, Sweet Revenge

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Oh that’s a shiny No. 17 ranking you got there. Can I see it? *smash*

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions (12-16, 5-12 Big Ten) and No. 17 Maryland Terrapins (21-8, 12-6) have played fairly close games as Big Ten members. All games have been decided by seven points or less. Today was the exception. The Nittany Lions and Terrapins played a game that was over fairly quickly, one where Penn State built an early double-digit lead, which set the tone for the rest of the game.

As expected, the Nittany Lions did everything they could to turn Maryland over. This led to a quick 18-9 lead by the under-12 media timeout. From there, the Nittany Lions withstood a mini-dry run, then built their lead slowly and surely, which made the second half a formality.

Of course, games are 40 minutes long, and Maryland did have some punch left, but it’s hard to overcome a 22-point halftime lead without a minor miracle. That minor miracle did not come. In fact, the deficit grew as big as 29 points for the Terrapins, and in the middle of that sequence Mark Turgeon actually subbed out his entire starting lineup to send a message. As is tradition, Penn State went through their patented dry run, and the Terrapins were able to whittle down the lead to 16 with 4:54 left in the game, but this time around, the Lions persevered.

With this loss, the Terps fall to 2-9 all time at Penn State, and the series record is now 14-10 in favor of the visitors (5-3 as Big Ten members). More importantly, as outlined above, this is the first blowout victory by either team as members of the same conference (the first one since Maryland beat Penn State 62-39 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge). Not exactly what the Maryland contingent expected when they joined the conference, I presume?

Four Factors Analysis

Uh, Penn State did whatever it wanted. They turned Maryland over almost at will, and turned those turnovers into points. They also didn’t miss as many shots as they did when they first played Maryland. That helps. Oh yeah, and the fouls. See that foul rate? See the score? See the preview?

Players of the Game

Myles Dread’s 15 first half points set the tone for the rest of the game. Lamar Stevens took over in the second half, netting yet another 20-point game for the Nittany Lions. Every players contributed though, and they could do no wrong.

Random Observations

Remember the fouls - As alluded to above, Maryland did not shoot four free throws for every Penn State free throw. They lost. By a lot.

Geez the turnovers! - Maryland had 17 turnovers in this game, but Penn State capitalized on almost all of those turnovers. They scored 26 points off said turnovers.

**** Maryland - Because their breath stinks.

Looking Ahead

Penn State takes their show back on the road for the second game of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers are themselves coming off a loss on the road to Indiana, so they’re not going to want to go on a losing streak. Game is on Saturday at 1 PM on BTN.