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Maryland basketball showed ‘no fight’ in loss to Penn State

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men’s basketball was on the losing end of a rout Wednesday night, falling to Penn State 78-61 in the Bryce Jordan Center.

It’s weird to say for a 17-point loss, but this game wasn’t as close as the final score. The Terps got outgunned from the jump and never recovered. This is a team that has seen its fair share of slow starts and turnover problems, but more than anything, the effort wasn’t there for Maryland to open the game and it never really showed up.

“We weren’t very good from the beginning to the end tonight,” head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “I’m going to take all the blame for that—I don’t know what I did different, but we weren’t very good.”

Maryland opened the game with two quick live-ball turnovers in the first three minutes, which were turned into two Myles Dread three-pointers and an 8-3 deficit. Those represent just six of the Penn State’s 26 points off turnovers and two of Maryland’s 17 turnovers on the night. The Nittany Lions built their lead to 11 over the next three minutes and up to 22 by the end of the half.

The Terps actually won the second half, 41-36, but trailed by as much as 29 three separate times over the final 20 minutes. Turgeon would pull his starters in a platoon swap after the first five minutes to try to make anything happen after the lead just continued to grow. After the game, he said that they treated the final 15 minutes like a practice, once he realized it just wasn’t going to happen.

“At about the 10-minute mark, you knew we weren’t us tonight and there was no fight—that was the disappointing part,” Turgeon said. “I thought we fought a little bit hard in the second half, even though there was no rhythm to the second half whatsoever. ... We just weren’t here tonight, I can’t explain it, but hopefully we bounce back.”

That wraps up Maryland’s road schedule for the season, finishing 6-5 in true road games and an even 5-5 in Big Ten road games. The Terps return home Sunday to try to even the season series with No. 9 Michigan.

In other news

The Terps did next to nothing against Penn State, just giving themselves a tougher road to a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

Women’s lacrosse was on the winning end of a blowout Wednesday, running away from UMBC 18-1.

Softball is off to its best start under Julie Wright, opening the season 9-6 with a pair of freshman pacing the offense at the top of the order.

Speaking of stellar freshmen, women’s basketball’s Taylor Mikesell leads all Big Ten freshmen in scoring, made threes and minutes, while Shakira Austin leads all rookies in the conference in rebounding and blocks.

Men’s soccer also released its spring schedule Tuesday, with five games marking the beginning of its title defense.