Maryland men’s basketball had the last possession of regulation against Nebraska, but Jahmir Young couldn’t find the bottom of the net with a mid-range jumper.
Both squads fought fiercely in overtime and the Terps again had a chance to take the lead with under a minute remaining. But the Cornhuskers’ Sam Hoiberg, the son of Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg, intercepted a Hakim Hart pass and galloped down the floor to the rim.
Hoiberg laid the ball in and put the Terps away with a four-point Nebraska lead with seconds to go, and coach Kevin Willard’s squad could only foul to no avail.
Propelled by late heroics and 43 combined points from Derrick Walker and Keisei Tominaga, Nebraska (14-14, 7-10 Big Ten) upended Maryland (18-9, 9-7 Big Ten) in overtime Sunday, 70-66.
“We had our opportunities, I love [Jahmir Young’s] shot at the end of regulation, but give them credit,” Willard said.
Nebraska handed the Terps their seventh away loss of the season, furthering Maryland’s inconsistent body of work in hostile environments.
Key contributions from Hakim Hart and Julian Reese nearly brought the Cornhuskers down, but first half offensive inconsistency buried Maryland enough for Nebraska to scrape an overtime victory.
Nothing Maryland could do against Nebraska would come close to paralleling Thursday’s upset of Purdue. But what the Terps could do is reinforce a postseason resume that’s grown much stronger with their triumph over the Boilermakers — including improving a poor 2-6 away record with a win on the road.
But Maryland, in an unfamiliar environment, looked awkward in the minutes after tip-off. The Terps’ offense forced a few early jumpers and went away from higher-percentage interior shots.
Nebraska reaped the benefits. The Cornhuskers had slightly better success with its top scorers in Tominaga and Walker. Julian Reese collected his second foul only 10 minutes in, and Walker hit both free throws and another bucket to put Nebraska up nine.
The Cornhuskers’ home crowd buzzed, but Maryland silenced them with a quick Hart three-pointer to break an 8-1 Nebraska run.
The critical three gave way to more offense for the Terps with a pair of Patrick Emilien layups and another three from Hart that capped a 10-0 run, allowing Maryland to grab its second lead of the game. From there, Tominaga and Walker kept the Terps from taking the lead again with a 31-24 advantage at half.
“Derrick Walker was phenomenal,” Willard said. “He made a couple big plays when [Nebraska] needed some big plays.”
Poor shooting from Donta Scott and Young, who went a combined 3-for-17 on field goals in the first half, limited Maryland’s offense to just 29 percent shooting from the field.
Maryland needed a spark in the second half to avoid its seventh road loss of the season. The Terps got it as Walker and Sam Griesel fell into foul trouble in the second half, forcing them to the bench.
Willard’s squad took quick advantage with a 17-2 run, drawing on Hart for two more threes and stopping a sputtering Nebraska offense — the Terps held the Cornhuskers without a field goal for almost eight minutes.
Nebraska reignited its offense with more quality inside play from Walker and a deep three from Hoiberg. Both teams benefited from free throws late with Nebraska and Maryland both entering the bonus about midway through the half.
Reese continued to stand out with a critical three-point play on a 16-point and career-high 16-rebound day until Walker and Griesel pulled the Cornhuskers within one with two minutes to go.
Young executed a three-point play to widen Maryland’s lead to four as urgency shrouded the Cornhusker with limited time on the clock. Then two critical fouls committed by Ian Martinez gave Tominaga four free throws to tie the game.
Young, who finished with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, fought back with another critical play on a short floater to take back the lead with just under 40 seconds remaining. But Nebraska wouldn’t go away.
Walker sank a layup to equalize, and Maryland took the ball with an opportunity to win. Young took a late shot off the inbound, but it bounced off the rim to force the Terps’ first overtime game of the season.
Five more minutes graced the scoreboard and Maryland stumbled initially. Hart turned the ball over quickly and Tominaga knocked down a deep three on the other end. Maryland then took initiative with a 6-0 run capped off with a rim-grazing Hart dunk to silence the arena.
But the back-and-forth continued with a pair of free throw makes from Walker shortly after and a Griesel layup to make it a one-point advantage for Nebraska. And then, in a clutch moment, Hoiberg stole the ball and laid it in to make it a three-point lead for the Cornhuskers.
“[Nebraska] is playing good basketball,” Willard said. “I thought we did a great job defending the three-point line … we had too many turnovers at crucial times.”
The Terps could only foul to keep pace after another miss and paid the price for their late miscues, failing to sweep the season series against the Cornhuskers.