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Smith, Fernando lead No. 24 Maryland past Nebraska 60-45

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Jalen Smith’s second big offensive game of the season against Nebraska didn’t decide No. 24 Maryland’s win over the Cornhuskers.

The Terrapins’ 60-45 victory Wednesday night was all about defense. Maryland allowed its fewest points in a conference game under eighth-year coach Mark Turgeon.

“Our guys were locked in,” Turgeon said. “That’s the smartest we’ve played defensively this season, so it was good to see.”

Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds and fueled Maryland’s surge in the first half. Bruno Fernando’s production was limited by double-teams, but he still had his sixth consecutive double-double, and 15th of the season, with 13 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for the Terps (18-6, 9-4 Big Ten).

Nebraska (13-10, 3-9) set season lows for points and field goal percentage (21 percent) while losing its sixth straight and dropping to 13th place in the conference. The Huskers were playing their third game without forward Isaac Copeland, who sustained a season-ending knee injury Jan. 26.

“I hope and pray this is rock bottom,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “Until we get out of our way on offense and find some rhythm on offense, we have a real problem. I believe it’s mental.”

Isaiah Roby led the Cornhuskers with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and James Palmer Jr. added 11 points.

“Nobody is really having fun right now,” Roby said. “We all had big expectations for this season. Time keeps running out with every game we play.”

The Terps were lethargic at the outset, missing 11 of their first 14 shots as offensive leaders Fernando, Anthony Cowan Jr. and Smith went scoreless through the first nine minutes. Meanwhile, Roby scored 12 points as the Huskers jumped to a 15-10 lead.

But then Nebraska had one of its all-too-familiar scoring droughts, this one lasting longer than eight minutes. Smith, whose short runner with 3 seconds left gave the Terps a 74-72 win over the Huskers on Jan. 2, scored 11 straight points to put his team in front after Tanner Borchardt went to the bench with his second foul.

“I was finishing the shots I put up,” Smith said. “They had a little guard on me and a big on Bruno. Coach Turgeon just attacked, and I was scoring.”

Maryland outscored the Cornhuskers 20-5 to close the half, with Nebraska making just one field goal over the last 11:41. Nebraska drew to 31-29 early in the second half, but the Terps soon were up by double digits again and on their way to bouncing back from a 69-61 loss at Wisconsin last Friday.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: This wasn’t the Terps’ best night offensively, but avoiding a fourth loss in five games kept them safely in the upper half of the Big Ten. Cowan scored a season-low five points, Fernando had only two in the first half and Maryland shot 38 percent as a team.

Nebraska: The school’s four-game home losing streak is its longest since 2002-03. Glynn Watson Jr. continues to struggle, going 0 for 10 with no points, and Miles’ future at Nebraska is growing dimmer. “This hurts,” Miles said, his voice cracking.

DID HE OR DIDN’T HE?

One of the big no-calls came in the second half when Fernando moved into Borchardt under the basket, knocking him down, before jamming a one-handed dunk. The play brought howls from fans who wanted a foul and a technical on Miles, who wanted the same thing.

It appeared Fernando might have stepped on Borchardt when he came down. Miles said he didn’t know if that was the case, and video was inconclusive. Borchardt wasn’t made available to reporters after the game. The play was not reviewable.

Fernando said he didn’t step on Borchardt.

“I dunked the ball and I was trying to run back on defense and he was right there on the ground. I was trying to get out of his way,” Fernando said. “For me personally, I didn’t have any intentions of hurting anybody. That’s not who I am. That’s not part of my game.”

UP NEXT

Maryland: Hosts Purdue on Tuesday.

Nebraska: Plays at Purdue on Saturday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top 25

Nike ‘working to identify issue’ that caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow out

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Nike released a statement on Thursday saying that they are “working to identify the issue” that caused the left shoe of Duke star Zion Williamson to burst open, leading to the 285 pound freshman to slip and injure his right knee.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

The injury was termed a “mild knee sprain” by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game.

“The knee is stable,” he added. “We don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Nike stock dropped 1% the morning after the incident.

No. 1 Duke lost 88-72 to No. 8 North Carolina at home on Wednesday evening after the injury, which occurred just 30 seconds into the game.

Dan Patrick Show: Should Zion Williamson end Duke career after knee injury?

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Duke’s Zion Williamson faces a tough decision following a scary knee injury against North Carolina: try and return for March Madness or rest up for the NBA.

DAUSTER | Zion should do whatever makes him happy

Dan Patrick Show: Nike stock drops after Zion shoe incident

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After Zion Williamson blew out his shoe, Nike stock dropped a full one percent the morning after.

Bracketology: The Zion Williamson factor for Duke

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The pertinent question this morning is the health of Zion Williamson.  Foremost, because he’s an exceptional talent and life is bigger than basketball.

The secondary component is how his injury impacts Duke – both on the court and, subsequently, the Blue Devils’ standing on the Seed List.

If last night were the eve of Selection Sunday, the Committee would be forced to make a tough decision: evaluating Duke while Zion’s future availability is unknown.

Since a decision related to today’s bracket had to be made quickly in the wee hours of the morning with little information, Duke stays put, largely because the Blue Devils own a season sweep of Virginia, and two of its losses occurred with less than a full roster.

Once we know more about Zion’s status, further review will ensue.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 21, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION Temple vs. Alabama
MIDWEST REGION UCF vs. Utah State
EAST REGION ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. CANISIUS
WEST REGION NORFOLK ST vs. PRAIRIE VIEW

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                   
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
16) ST. FRANCIS / CANISIUS 16) LEHIGH
8) Ole Miss 8) Auburn
9) Ohio State 9) WOFFORD
Jacksonville Salt Lake City
5) Iowa State 5) Maryland
12) BELMONT 12) Temple / Alabama
4) LSU 4) Texas Tech
13) OLD DOMINION 13) LIBERTY
Hartford Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Villanova
11) Florida 11) VCU
3) MARQUETTE 3) Purdue
14) YALE 14) TEXAS STATE
Des Moines Columbus
7) BUFFALO 7) Cincinnati
10) Texas 10) TCU
2) Michigan 2) Kentucky
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Columbia
1) GONZAGA 1) TENNESSEE
16) PR VIEW / NORFOLK ST 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Baylor 8) St. John’s
9) Minnesota 9) Syracuse
San Jose San Jose
5) Florida State 5) KANSAS STATE
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) UCF / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Wisconsin
13) HOFSTRA 13) VERMONT
Tulsa Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Seton Hall 11) Arizona State
3) Kansas 3) HOUSTON
14) UC-IRVINE 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) WASHINGTON 7) Mississippi State
10) NC State 10) Oklahoma
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina
15) MONTANA 15) RADFORD

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Temple Clemson Nebraska
Seton Hall UCF Georgetown UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State Utah State Butler Lipscomb
Florida Alabama Furman Dayton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Tennessee, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Canisius (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Liberty (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Report: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hits, kills pedestrian on highway

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Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian walking outside of his car on I-690 on Wednesday night, just hours after his Syracuse Orange beat No. 18 Louisville at the Carrier Dome.

The man — identified as 51-year old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse — was in a car with four other people that lost control on the highway, struck a guard rail and came to rest in the middle of the road, according to police. At some point, he got out of the car and was walking along the highway, which is when Boeheim hit him as he tried to avoid the disabled vehicle, which was in the road.

“I am heartbroked that a member of our community died as a result of last night’s accident,” Boeheim said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The incident occurred at 11:22 p.m. ET.

Boeheim remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. He was given a field sobriety test at the scene and police determined that he was not impaired at the time. Speeds could not be determined, according to police, but Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told WSYR that Boeheim was driving at the proper speed for a highway.

“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” Syracuse AD Jim Wildhack said. “On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident. Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully. Out of respect for those grieving, there will be no further comment at this time.”