The Illinois Fighting Illini came into the game angry and with a lot of energy after their comeback against the Miami Hurricanes fell short. Freshman center Kofi Cockburn made the Terrapins ineffective scoring from the inside for the majority of the first half. He made 4-of-6 of his shots, leading the team with nine points and seven rebounds going into the break.
His team shot an efficient 47.1 percent from the field, including a 10-0 run at 11:52 in the first half that gave the Illini a 18-5 lead. They went on to take a 39-25 lead by halftime, the biggest deficit for the Terrapins this season.
As with most of their games, Maryland could not get in a rhythm early. They were missing wide open shots from behind the arc, making only 3-of-14 in the opening half. The team was inefficient shooting a measly 30.3 percent from the field during that time as well.
Despite the Terrapins shrinking the deficit down to seven points with 4:33 remaining in the game, Illinois looked like the team that was going to win. Many people would have thrown in the towel on Maryland at that point but they have proven to be no ordinary team. Anthony Cowan and the Terrapins somehow pulled off an improbable comeback.
With over four minutes left on the clock, Illinois was stone cold missing all three of their shots during that time. Cockburn was in foul trouble and the team was stagnant without him. Cowan made a deep 3-point shot to tie the game at 58-58 with 21 seconds remaining. After that, the Illini made a costly mistake as Andres Feliz turned the ball over and fouled Cowan with two seconds on the clock.
The foul sent Cowan to the free throw line. He made one of his attempts and that was enough for the Terrapins to put a stamp on their comeback to win 59-58. They went on a 11-1 run to close out the game as Maryland continues to show the world why they are one of the best college basketball teams in the nation.
Cowan finished the game going 6-of-14 from the field, as well as 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He led the team with 20 points as Jalen "Stix" Smith led the team with 13 rebounds.
Maryland improves to 10-0 for the first time since 1998-99 and are now 10-6 all-time against Illinois.
Next week, Mark Turgeon and the No. 3 Terrapins will travel to Pennsylvania to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center.