Jalen Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds and fueled Maryland’s decisive surge in the first half, and the 24th-ranked Terrapins beat fading Nebraska 60-45 on Wednesday night.
Bruno Fernando had his sixth consecutive double-double, and 15th of the season, with 13 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for Maryland (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.
Isaiah Roby led the Cornhuskers with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and James Palmer Jr. added 11 points.
Nebraska had one of its all-too-familiar scoring droughts through the middle of the first half, 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.
Maryland outscored the Cornhuskers 20-5 to close the half, with Nebraska making just one field goal over the last 11:41.
The Terps left the door open, starting the second half much as they did the first. Fernando traveled, Smith committed an offensive foul and the Huskers scored nine straight to draw to 31-29 before Aaron Wiggins hit a 3-pointer and Smith dunked off a lob to make it 36-29.
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.
Maryland: Hosts Purdue on Tuesday.
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