Northwestern stuns No. 25 Maryland 72-64 in Big Ten Tourney

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WASHINGTON (AP) It was a night when the crowd considered anyone wearing purple to be the enemy – even loveable actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus.

Facing No. 25 Maryland on a court that was anything but neutral, Northwestern added another milestone in an already magical season.

Scottie Lindsey and Vic Law each scored 17 points, and Northwestern pulled off a 72-64 upset Friday night to earn a berth in semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in school history.

Down by 10 points early in the second half, the Wildcats (23-10) took control with a 20-2 run that all but silenced an arena that earlier produced the loudest cheers of the first Big Ten Tournament held in the nation’s capital.

“With their crowd going crazy, we could have easily just said, `Oh, let’s just pack it in. Let’s just go home and hope we make the tournament,”‘ Law said. “But we’re playing for something better. We’re playing for our name and for the Big Ten Tournament title.”

Having already defeated Rutgers and No. 3 seed Maryland, Northwestern on Saturday will face second-seed Wisconsin, a 70-60 winner over Indiana.

Though this was technically considered to be a neutral court, Maryland (24-8) enjoyed many of the benefits of playing at home following a double bye to start the tournament.

Not only is the Verizon Center a mere 10 miles from the Terrapins’ home court, but Maryland previously played at this arena this season, beating Georgetown in November.

Much more significant: A vast majority of the fans in the biggest crowd of the week wore red and cheered very loudly for the Terrapins, who were in their home white uniforms.

During a timeout, the scoreboard focused on Louis-Dreyfus, whose son Charlie Hall plays for Northwestern. The crowd booed lustily.

“It’s all in fun. Good intentioned, I think,” Hall said. “Didn’t bother me too much. And we got the win, which is really the important thing, so I guess the Hall family wins in the end.”

In spite of the backing of the crowd, the proximity to their own arena and their earlier win over Northwestern, the Terps fizzled when it counted.

“We had a good crowd there. That was the best I’ve seen them all year,” Maryland guard Melo Trimble said. “Unfortunately, we lost. But we have another week to prepare for a bigger tournament.”

In spite of the loss, the Terrapins will be headed to the NCAA Tournament. So will Northwestern, which has already set a school record for wins in a season.

“I don’t really think that we realize what we’re doing right now,” Lindsey said. “I think, you know, after the season, a couple years down the road, we’ll realize what we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished.”

After opening the second half with eight straight points to take a 44-34 lead, Maryland went 1 for 7 with six turnovers over an eight-minute span while being outscored 20-2. Lindsey scored seven points during the run and Bryant McIntosh contributed five points.

Maryland went nearly 6 1/2 minutes without scoring until freshman Anthony Cowan ended the drought with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 7:02 to go.

The Terrapins closed to 56-53 but simply couldn’t keep pace with the Wildcats, who outscored Maryland 38-20 over the final 16 minutes.

Trimble scored 20 points for the Terrapins, but committed six turnovers. Freshman Kevin Huerter had 19 points and Cowan added 13.

BIG PICTURE

Northwestern: The Wildcats keep surprising people and basketball teams. They’re making a strong case to receive a decent seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland: A disappointing defeat leaves the Terrapins hoping the selection committee won’t treat them too rudely when drawing up the brackets Sunday night.

UP NEXT

Northwestern: The Wildcats beat Wisconsin on the road last month.

Maryland: The Terps will next play in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.