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Maryland 73, Oklahoma State 64

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STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 17 Maryland Terrapins and the Oklahoma State Cowboys both sought added validation to strong starts Sunday.

The Terrapins found it in their first official road game, pulling past the Cowboys 73-64 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Forwards Jake Layman and Jared Nickens fueled a 15-3 spurt out of the halftime break to start a surge that carried Maryland (11-1) to its fourth straight win. Layman and Nickens combined for 13 during the spurt and 32 overall.

The Terrapins had to hold off a late Cowboys rally, as Oklahoma State pulled within 67-61 and had the ball in the final 30 seconds. But Cowboys guard Phil Forte turned the ball over on a drive to the basket, and Maryland hit two free throws at the other end to help finish off the Cowboys, who fell to 9-2.

The Terrapins entered the game at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll, their highest ranking since 2007, yet some national analysts seemed to be taking a wait-and-see approach to a squad that had been overhauled in the offseason and enjoyed only limited success in recent seasons.

Sunday played like a statement, with Maryland — still without injured leading scorer Dez Wells — controlling a Cowboys team with a history of dominating nonconference foes at home.

Layman finished with a game-high 21 points, pouring in 16 in the second half. And Nickens (11 points), guard Melo Trimble (15 points) and guard Dion Wiley (seven points), a trio of talented freshmen, combined for 33 points.

The Terrapins led 32-27 at halftime in a tight defensive matchup.

An 18-4 run late in the half sent Maryland surging to a 32-22 edge — the biggest lead by either team through the first 20 minutes. But the Cowboys scored the final two buckets of the half on a dunk by center Michael Cobbins and a 3-pointer by Forte to close the gap.

The Terrapins shot just 38.7 percent from the floor in the first half, while Oklahoma State shot 42.9 percent. But six 3-pointers were the difference for Maryland, with forward Evan Smotrycz and Wiley firing in two each.

Cowboys forward Le’Bryan Nash led all scorers with 11 in the half, and he finished with a team-high 17.

Maryland returns to action Saturday at home against Oakland.

Oklahoma State next faces Missouri in a neutral site game in Kansas City on Dec. 30.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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