The No. 9 Maryland men’s basketball team took down No. 25 Michigan, 83-70 to clinch the 2019-20 Big Ten Championship on Sunday.
Anthony Cowan Jr. had 20 points and eight assists in his final home game at Maryland. 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, a senior guard, went 7 for 11 from the floor and hit six free throws in the final minute.Maryland moved into a first-place tie with Wisconsin, and Michigan State, and has secured the No. 3 seed and double bye in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. The Terps will face either Penn State, Indiana or Nebraska on Friday, March 13.
Immediately after the game, Maryland was presented a Big Ten championship trophy, its first 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.
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 3-pointers by Ayala. After that, the margin never dipped below seven points.
After a sellout crowd saluted Cowan and two other seniors, the Terrapins trailed early before Ayala scored six points in a 14-2 run that made it 18-9. Minutes later, Wiggins had a 3-pointer and a dunk in a 7-0 spurt that upped the margin to 12.
Smith ended the half with a 35-foot heave at the buzzer that hit the bottom of the net and put Maryland up 41-28.
Cowan made his school-record 130th consecutive start. He ranks first on the Maryland career list for free throws made (579), seventh in scoring, fifth in assists and third in 3-pointers made.