Here it is, the night this team has been waiting for. Maryland (13-3, 2-1) is set to play their first Top-25 team this season (Purdue was not ranked when the two teams met) tonight as they travel to East Lansing to play the Michigan State Spartans (14-1, 2-0). Tipoff is set for 8 pm and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
Michigan State started the season as the #2 team in the country before falling to Duke on November 14th, 88-81. Since then, they have won 13 straight games and claimed the top spot in the National Rankings.
Maryland is currently riding a seven-game winning streak since losing their conference opener against Purdue 80-75.
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Maryland, 6-5, and the Spartans have won three of the last four games against the Terrapins. The two teams have met just twice in East Lansing, with each side taking a game.
Michigan State is currently averaging almost 10-PPG more than the Terps, are beating teams by more than 25-PPG and are shooting 41.1% from beyond the arch.
|FG Pct. Defense||37.7%||32.8|
|3FG Pct. Defense||28.1%||33.1%|
Maryland will be leaning sophomore point-guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and Freshman Bruno Fernando tonight. Cowan Jr. scored 18 points, and Fernando had 17 points with 11 rebounds, his first career double-double, against Penn State.
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 3, 2018
Cowan continues to be the leader on the floor for Maryland on the offensive end this season. He has led the Terps in scoring in 11 different games including all three Big Ten contests. Cowan leads Maryland in points per game (15.6), free throw pct. (86.9%), assists per game (4.5) and steals per game while averaging a league-high 35.3 minutes per game.
After playing for a career-high 40 minutes against Penn State, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon was asked if Cowan Jr. would be ready for the quick turn around to play Michigan State.
“Anthony could go play another 40 right now,” said Turgeon.
Look for another Maryland big-man to have a significant role in tonights match up as well, 7-foot-1 senior center Michal Cekovsky. He was on the floor for 30 minutes against the Nittany Lions and went 5-6 from the floor with 10 points while also grabbing six rebounds.
“It’s going to be a good game with their crows and Michigan State is always a big game every year. I’ve been here for four years and I know it’s a great game day every time. It’s going to be a great challenge, and like we always do, we’re going to take the challenge and try to win the game,” said Cekovsky.
Maryland is known as a “giant killer” in college basketball. Maryland has won 10 games vs. AP No. 1 teams all-time, last knocking off a top-ranked team on Jan. 19, 2008 with an 82-80 victory at North Carolina. Maryland has captured three of its wins over No. 1 ranked teams on the road.