COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Each member of the Maryland basketball team took turns gripping the trophy awarded to the Big Ten Conference champions. They wore bright red hats boasting their accomplishment, and they proudly cut down the nets on each side of the court.
It really didn't matter to Coach Mark Turgeon or the No. 9 Terrapins that their 83-70 victory over 25th-ranked Michigan on Sunday was good for only a share of the regular-season title. After more than four months' worth of exhilarating wins and bitterly disappointing defeats, the robust celebration -- which served as a welcome release of emotion -- came without apology.
"Would we have liked to have won it outright? Absolutely, but we're still champs," Turgeon declared.
Maryland moved into a first-place tie with Wisconsin, and Michigan State joined the fray at the top by defeating Ohio State later Sunday. If two or more teams tie atop the standings at the end of the season, it is a shared championship.
And that was good enough for Maryland, which received its first Big Ten championship trophy since joining the league in 2014. Wisconsin, however, is assured the top seed in the conference tournament this week by virtue of owning the best record in games involving the first-place teams.
The Terrapins held a two-game lead with five to go but lost three of four before defeating the Wolverines to finish 16-1 at home.
"We had it hanging over us for two weeks. We were in first place for almost four weeks," Turgeon said. "There was a lot on our guys, and obviously this is a big weight off us."
Anthony Cowan Jr. had 20 points and eight assists in his final home game at Maryland. The senior guard went 7 for 11 from the floor and made six free throws in the final minute.
Eric Ayala scored 19, Jalen Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Aaron Wiggins added 15 points for the Terps (24-7, 14-6).
Cowan came back for his senior season to help the team hang a banner on the rafters at the arena, and that's precisely what will happen.
"It's huge. These are the memories you're going to go through your whole life," Cowan said. "It can't get much better than that."
Reserve sophomore guard David DeJulius scored a career-high 20 points for Michigan (19-12, 10-10). The Wolverines closed their first regular season under rookie coach Juwan Howard by dropping three of four.
"I'm as positive as you can get," Howard said. "There's no reason to try to beat anyone's spirit down. All it's about is finding solutions and how we can improve to get better."
Michigan went 9 for 13 from the floor to start the second half, outscoring Maryland 25-15 to cut a 13-point deficit to 56-53 with 10 minutes left. Zavier Simpson led the surge with nine points on 4-for-4 shooting.
The Terps eased the pressure with a 9-2 run that included a pair of three-pointers by Ayala. The margin never dipped below seven points the rest of the way.
NO. 16 MICHIGAN STATE 80,
NO. 19 OHIO STATE 69
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Cassius Winston scored 27 points and No. 16 Michigan State beat No. 19 Ohio State to win a third consecutive Big Ten championship.
The Spartans (22-9, 14-6) will be the second-seeded team at the Big Ten Tournament behind Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes (21-10, 11-9) had won four in a row and six of their previous seven games.
Ohio State's leading scorer, Kaleb Wesson, was held to eight points on 1-of-8 shooting after entering the day averaging 14-plus points per game.
Michigan State was in control of much of the evening and pulled away with a 16-4 run late in the game. The Spartans were ahead 38-32 at halftime.
Rocket Watts scored 19 points, Xavier Tillman had 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals while Aaron Henry added 12 points for the Spartans.
Duane Washington had 16 points, CJ Walker scored 14, E.J. Liddell had 12 and Luther Muhammad added 10 points for the Buckeyes.
NO. 21 HOUSTON 64, MEMPHIS 57
HOUSTON -- Fabian White Jr. had 18 points and 14 rebounds, Quentin Grimes added 17 points and Houston beat Memphis.
Grimes had 15 second-half points, which led a big run for the Cougars (23-8, 13-5 American Athletic). Nate Hinton had 13 points for Houston, which shot 34%, including 48% in the second half.
Precious Achiuwa had 25 points and 15 rebounds and Lester Quinones added 10 points for Memphis (21-10, 10-8).
NO. 23 ILLINOIS 78, NO. 18 IOWA 76
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Ayo Dosunmu scored 17 points and Illinois held off Iowa to secure the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Conference tournament.
Andres Feliz scored 14 points, Kofi Cockburn had 12 and Kipper Nichols added 10 for Illinois (21-10, 12-8 Big Ten).
Luka Garza scored 28 points for Iowa (20-11, 11-9), which finished in a four-way tie for fifth in the Big Ten and will be the No. 5 seed in the tournament. Joe Toussaint scored 14 points and Connor McCaffery added 10.
Sports on 03/09/2020
Print Headline: Terps claim share of Big Ten title