Maryland rallies to beat Illinois 75-66

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Illinois' DeMonte Williams (20) passes the ball under the basket around Maryland defender Donta Scott during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – With Illinois shredding Maryland's man-to-man defense, Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon switched to a zone — something the team rarely uses outside of practice.

It worked.

Anthony Cowan scored 20 points and Turgeon’s ninth-ranked Maryland held on to beat No. 20 Illinois 75-66 on Friday night.

The Terrapins (19-4, 9-3 Big Ten) took sole possession of first place in the conference with the win. Illinois (16-7, 8-4) fell into second place.

“Great win for us,” Turgeon said. “Illinois plays as well as anyone in our league. They are a talented group with size.”

Illinois led by as many as 14 points midway through the first half, but the Terrapins fought back and pulled to within 42-40,with a 3-pointer by Wiggins at the halftime buzzer.

Maryland opened the second half with an 11-0 run to take a lead it never relinquished.

“We kind of lost ourselves there at first,” Turgeon said. “But we utilized the zone and it got us back in the game. It gave us some confidence.”