Anthony Cowan Leads Maryland Past MSU, Baylor Beats WVU, Top Highlights

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2020

Maryland guard Anthony Cowan Jr. plays against Michigan State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in East Lansing, Mich., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Maryland Terrapins made a case to be included in the shortlist of men's basketball championship contenders Saturday.

The ninth-ranked team in the nation raced out to a double-digit advantage over the Michigan State Spartans, absorbed a comeback attempt and finished off a victory by way of Anthony Cowan Jr.

Maryland has won eight consecutive games, and it is expected to move up at least one spot in the AP Top 25 Monday after the Louisville Cardinals suffered their second straight defeat.

The manner in which the Terrapins won at the Breslin Center could persuade voters to move them further up the poll. At minimum, it should put them into a more serious discussion among the likes of the Baylor Bears and Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Baylor earned one of Saturday's best victories, as its defense put the clamps on the West Virginia Mountaineers to extend the team's winning streak to 22 games. West Virginia was one of seven ranked teams to stumble on the road Saturday. Louisville and the Seton Hall Pirates were also among the Top 25 casualties during a chaotic slate.

                        

Saturday Top 25 Scores

No. 1 Baylor 70, No. 14 West Virginia 59

No. 2 Gonzaga 89, Pepperdine 77

No. 3 Kansas 87, Oklahoma 70

Clemson 77, No. 5 Louisville 62

No. 6 Dayton 71, UMass 63

No. 7 Duke 94, Notre Dame 60

No. 8 Florida State 80, Syracuse 77

No. 9 Maryland 67, Michigan State 60

Providence 74, No. 10 Seton Hall 71

Missouri 85, No. 11 Auburn 73

No. 12 Kentucky 67, Ole Miss 62

No. 13 Penn State 77, Northwestern 61

No. 16 Colorado 69, Oregon State 47

Georgetown 73, No. 19 Butler 66

SMU 73, No. 20 Houston 72 (Final/Overtime)

Rutgers 72, No. 22 Illinois 57

No. 23 Creighton 93, DePaul 64

Oklahoma State 73, No. 24 Texas Tech 70

Alabama 88, No. 25 LSU 82 

             

Anthony Cowan Finishes Off Maryland's Win

        

Baylor Extends Winning Streak to 22 Games

            

Mississippi State Beats Arkansas at Buzzer

         

BYU's Game-Winning Alley-Oop

            

John Newman Caps Clemson's Upset Over Louisville

             

Jabari Rice's Game-Winning Shot for New Mexico State

                 

Marcus Garrett's Strong Finish

            

Tevian Jones' Emphatic Block

           

C.J. Walker's Steal and Drive

              

Matthew Mayer's Poster Slam

           

Herb Jones Shoots 1-Handed Free Throws

         

Keyontae Johnson Rises for the Dunk 

                 

Anthony Cowan Leads Maryland Past Michigan State

Maryland appeared to be cruising to a win at the Breslin Center after going into halftime with an eight-point advantage.

At one point in the first half, the Terrapins held a 15-point lead over Tom Izzo's Spartans, who dropped out of the AP Top 25 this week. The home side rallied to take the lead in the second half behind Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, but it was not enough to put away Cowan and Co.

The Maryland guard scored the final 11 points of the Big Ten contest over two minutes and 26 seconds to secure the victory.

Saturday's win kept Mark Turgeon's side atop the conference standings, and it helped with its NCAA men's basketball tournament resume, as CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein noted:

While winning in East Lansing, Michigan, is no easy task, Cowan is driven to win more before the calendar flips to March, per the program's official Twitter account:

Maryland is 11-3 in the Big Ten, and it does not face a ranked foe in its final six regular-season games, but it does have a rematch with Michigan State on February 29.

Cowan is making his impact in the National Player of the Year discussion, as he has seven straight double-digit performances and three outings with 20 or more points in his past five appearances.

                      

Baylor's Defense Shines in 22nd Straight Win

Baylor is not letting go of the No. 1 ranking anytime soon.

The Bears won their 22nd consecutive game by holding West Virginia to 59 points with a 34.5 field-goal percentage.

Scott Drew's team has allowed one Big 12 opponent to record 70 points in 12 conference games and is on track to set a new league defensive record, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Drew admitted he was impressed with how his squad handled the battle of top-five defenses, per John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald:

"You know it's going to be a war when you play West Virginia. You had two top five defenses in the country. You had two top five rebounding teams. I thought our guys really did a great job in sharing the ball, causing turnovers. Obviously they're going to cause turnovers. Twenty's too many for us. But I'm really proud of our effort. I thought defensively we were really aggressive and active."

Baylor had four players record two or more steals, while Matthew Meyer came off the bench to produce seven rebounds along with his 13 points.

The 22-game winning streak could be in danger of ending Saturday, when the Kansas Jayhawks come to the Ferrell Center for a rematch of the January 11 clash won by the Bears at Allen Fieldhouse.

If Baylor wins that contest, it should lock up the Big 12 regular-season crown and move one step closer to securing a No. 1 seed in March Madness.

                   

Sunday Top 25 Schedule

No. 15 Villanova at Temple (1 p.m. ET, ESPN)

No. 21 Iowa at Minnesota (1 p.m. ET, FS1)

No. 4 San Diego State at Boise State (4 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Utah at No. 17 Oregon (9 p.m. ET, FS1)

             

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.

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