Background: Jan 14, 2019; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Anthony Cowan Jr. (1) shoots on the run in-between Wisconsin Badgers defender during the second half at XFINITY Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan

(Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports)

Maryland defeats Wisconsin 64-60 on Anthony Cowan late-game heroics

The junior guard proved once again why he is so valuable to this Maryland men's basketball team.

January 15, 2019 - 2:00 am

By: Kyle J. Andrews

COLLEGE PARK -- The Terrapins (14-3, 5-1 in Big Ten) came into their game against Wisconsin (11-5, 3-2) ranked 19th in the nation. Things wouldn't come easy for them in this game despite having an 18-point lead at the half. However, Maryland would win 64-60 on late-game heroics by junior guard Anthony Cowan.

"I'm proud of my group," Terps head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. "They were terrific defensively for 30, maybe 25 minutes, then Wisconsin turned it on. Man were they good in the second half. We lost some shooters, made some mistakes, but in the end, they took a one-point lead and we came back and won the game which is great for a young team. 

"And I don't think we should get caught up that we're ranked and they're not and this and that. They're a hell of a team. They've been a really good road team and in the end it's a big win for us. Anthony hit a big-time shot. We made a mistake again late defensively we were supposed to switch the ball screen and give the kid a wide open shot. The building was so loud I think it really helped us but it's a good win for us."  

Sophomore forward Darryl Morsell began the game strong with five early points coming within the first four minutes of the game. His scores came off of an inside jumper on the left side at 18:41 and a three-pointer coming with 16:54 remaining. Freshman guard Eric Ayala would also contribute five points in less than three minutes.

At the end of the first half, Maryland led Wisconsin 33-15. The Terrapins held the Badgers to just 26.9% from the field in the first half -- coming from three steals and three blocks each. Cowan had two steals and Fernando had two blocks. 

With 13:18 left in the game, Cowan got what seemed to be a decisive and-one bucket. The junior drove through the lane before being fouled and knocking down the free throw -- giving the Terps a 43-26 lead. Wisconsin would attempt to claw back into the game with second-chance layup by Ethan Happ, but Morsell was able to hit one of two free throws after being fouled on his cut to the paint. 

Things got really dicey for the Terps when their lead was trimmed to 51-41 with 8:02 remaining on a three-point shot from Nate Reuvers. Less than a minute later with 7:25 remaining, Aleem Ford hit another three-pointer. Though Cowan would get to the free throw line and hit both shots, Reuvers would answer with another layup and D'mitrik Trice would knock down a three. The Terps just led 56-49 at that point. Maryland would eventually lose their lead, trailing 60-59 after a Brad Davison with 2:01 remaining. 

"It's the worst feeling," Cowan said of letting the lead slip away. "It just feels like a play just needs to be made but it's also like you really don't want to make a play because you just want the time to hurry up and go by. I guess it was just one of those nights—credit to Wisconsin, they just got hit and hit big shots. But lucky for us, they were able to miss one late for us, so that helped us."  

After an offensive rebound by Maryland, Cowan hit a three from deep center -- giving Maryland a new lead of 62-60. The Terps would end up with the win, defeating Wisconsin 64-60. 

"He's just confident," Morsell said of Cowan. "That's all. That's 100 percent of Anthony's game. He's the most confident player on the court at all times. Whenever the ball is in his hands at the end of the shot clock, the whole team believes in him so that just gives him that extra confidence to make the shot."  

Maryland had four players in double figures including Cowan (21), Ayala (11), Fernando (10) and Jalen Smith (11). Though the Terps shot 34% (16-47) as a team, they also nailed three-pointers at a high mark (8-16). 

Wisconsin also had four players in double figures.The Badgers shot 38.6% (23-60) from the floor and 36.7 (11-30). 

The Terps will face off against the Ohio State Buckeyes (12-4, 2-3) in Columbus on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleAndrews1994