No. 24 Purdue looks to recover from back-to-back losses when it hosts 23rd-ranked Maryland on Thursday in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers dropped a 73-72 decision to No. 11 Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge before they were routed 76-57 by fifth-ranked Michigan on Saturday to slide down the national polls and hope to avoid their fourth straight loss to a ranked opponent in the last three weeks by knocking off the Terrapins for the fifth consecutive time.
"We have to go back to the drawing board and work on doing our jobs better," Purdue guard Carsen Edwards told reporters. "Doing the small things on defense and the offensive end." Maryland bounced back from its first loss of the season to fourth-ranked Virginia (76-71) with a 66-59 win against Penn State in its Big Ten opener on Saturday. The Terrapins' dynamic frontcourt duo of Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith, who are both projected to be NBA draft picks, combined for 28 points and 21 rebounds against the Nittany Lions, and hope to lead the Terrapins to their first win against Purdue since Feb. 6, 2016. "Our biggest thing that we wanted was to come out 1-0 as I think that does a lot for our momentum in the Big Ten," Maryland guard Anthony Cowan Jr. told reporters. "It's going to be a crazy game up at Purdue and we can just get ready for that now."
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ABOUT MARYLAND (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten): Smith continued his stellar start to his college career as he led the way with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds in the win over Penn State. Cowan scored 15 points and dished out four assists while Fernando added 12 points and 13 rebounds against the Nittany Lions to become the first Terrapins player to register three straight double-doubles since Jordan Williams in 2011. Aaron Wiggins continued to provide some timely production off the bench as he added nine points while fellow freshman Eric Ayala tallied eight points and four rebounds.
ABOUT PURDUE (5-3, 0-1): Edwards scored a team-high 19 points to go along with three assists against Michigan to finish in double figures for the 28th consecutive time. Ryan Cline drained three 3-pointers en route to 15 points against the Wolverines and is 27-of-53 (51 percent) from beyond the arc over his last six games. Aaron Wheeler provided a spark off the bench as he made all three of his shots from the field to finish with eight points and collected five rebounds in 17 minutes while Evan Boudreaux was held to three points on 1-of-8 shooting after averaging 13 points in his previous three games.
1. Purdue is 32-4 at home in Big Ten play since 2014-15.
2. Cowan needs 25 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
3. Edwards leads the Big Ten in scoring at 24.4 points per game.
PREDICTION: Purdue 79, Maryland 70 Bet Now
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