COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jalen Smith had 22 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for his ninth consecutive double-double, and No. 7 Maryland extended its winning streak to nine games by defeating Northwestern 76-67 Tuesday night.
Smith achieved his 17th double-double of the season by halftime. In two games against Northwestern this season, the 6-foot-10 sophomore has 47 points and 30 rebounds.
Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 19 for the Terrapins (22-4, 12-3 Big Ten), who never trailed in improving their record at home to 15-0. The victory, combined with Penn State’s loss to Illinois, left first-place Maryland with a two-game lead with five games to go.
Ryan Young scored 17 and Boo Buie added 15 for the Wildcats (6-19, 1-14) in their 10th successive defeat.
Down by 12 at halftime, Northwestern trailed only 50-46 with 10:45 left. It was 63-57 before a dunk by Smith, two free throws by Cowan and layup by Aaron Wiggins put the Terps up 69-57 with 3:23 remaining.
When the teams met at Northwestern a month ago, the Terrapins rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to win 77-66. This time, Maryland took charge at the outset.
Smith had 10 points and six rebounds in the opening seven minutes to stake the Terps to a 17-6 lead. After the Wildcats closed to 25-22, Darryl Morsell, Wiggins and Eric Ayala hit successive 3s and Cowan added a free throw for a 13-point cushion.
A late dunk by Smith made it 37-25 at halftime.
MOVING ON UP
Cowan passed Tom McMillen to move into eighth place on Maryland’s career scoring list. Cowan, a senior guard, has 1,809 points and is 49 short of catching Lonny Baxter for seventh. The school record is 2,269 by Juan Dixon.
Northwestern: The Wildcats can take solace in making a game of it on the road against a Top 10 team. But what Northwestern could use instead of a moral victory is a real one, a feat the Wildcats haven’t accomplished since Jan. 11 against Nebraska.
Maryland: One week after squeezing past lowly Nebraska at home, the Terrapins left nothing to chance against an overmatched opponent. It wasn’t a blowout, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Maryland now stands two wins away from a perfect season at home.
Northwestern hosts Minnesota on Sunday, the rematch of a game the Wildcats lost 77-68 on Jan. 5.
Maryland faces No. 25 Ohio State on Sunday to begin a stretch in which the Terrapins play three of four on the road.
Illinois 62, No. 9 Penn St. 56
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Ayo Dosunmu scored 24 points and Illinois snapped a four-game losing streak with a 62-56 victory over No. 9 Penn State on Tuesday night.
Kofi Cockburn added 14 points for the Fighting Illini (17-9, 9-6 Big Ten), who led most of the way and ended Penn State’s eight-game winning streak.
The win also snapped Illinois’ six-game losing streak against Penn State.
Lamar Stevens scored 13 points for the Nittany Lions (20-6, 10-5), who entered with their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since they were No. 9 at the same point of the 1996 season.
Izaiah Brockington added 10 points for the Nittany Lions, who trailed 30-26 at halftime and by as many as nine points with 5:35 to play.
Penn State got a pair of free throws from Seth Lundy that cut its deficit to 58-56 with a minute left, but Dosunmu iced it with a layup 30 seconds later.
It was back-and-forth early as teams swapped the lead five times in the first. The Illini controlled play for 9:06 and Griffin gave them their biggest lead of the half when he hit a 3-pointer, drew a foul and hit the ensuing free throw to put the Illini up 21-16 with 8:54 before halftime.
Penn State used an 8-1 run, capped by a steal and dunk by Lundy, to retake the lead 4:22 later.
But Illinois got eight straight points from Dosunmu before a put-back by Giorgi Bezhanishvili to go up 30-26 at the break.
No. 17 West Virginia 65, Oklahoma St. 47
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Miles McBride had 11 points in his first start, Sean McNeil also scored 11 and No. 17 West Virginia took over early in the second half to beat Oklahoma State 65-47 Tuesday night, giving coach Bob Huggins another milestone win.
Huggins earned his 879th career victory to tie North Carolina’s Dean Smith for sixth all-time among Division I coaches.
West Virginia (19-7, 7-6 Big 12) cut down on its turnovers in breaking a three-game losing streak, which including losses last week to top-ranked Baylor and No. 3 Kansas.
The Mountaineers fell behind by 10 early but got back on track with tough defense. Oklahoma State shot 17% (5 of 30) from the floor after halftime and was held to 14 points, the fewest allowed by West Virginia this season.
McNeil made three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-pointer. That capped a 20-4 run to start the second half and gave the Mountaineers a 48-37 lead with 8:42 remaining.
Oscar Tshiebwe had 15 rebounds, Derek Culver pulled down 10 off the bench and West Virginia outrebounded Oklahoma State 42-29.
West Virginia’s comeback actually started with the final shot of the first half. Jermaine Haley hit a 3-pointer from the corner on an inbounds pass as time expired. That trimmed the Mountaineers’ deficit to 33-28, and they maintained the momentum the rest of the way.
Cameron McGriff scored 19 points for Oklahoma State (13-13, 3-10), which won its previous two games.