College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Dez Wells totaled 17 points and eight rebounds, as No. 14 Maryland shook off a challenge from Rutgers and posted a 73-65 victory on Wednesday.
Jake Layman picked up 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Terrapins (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten), who have won two in a row since losing at Illinois. Jared Nickens added 12 points as well, while Melo Trimble finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Myles Mack poured in a game-high 19 points for the Scarlet Knights (10-8, 2-3), who have dropped three of their last five. Bishop Daniels and Mike Williams each had 12 points in a losing cause.
Malick Kone split a pair from the line with 3:52 left and Rutgers pulled into a 62-62 tie, the game's seventh and final deadlock.
Evan Smotrycz followed with two free throws and after Greg Lewis hit 1-of-2 from the line, Nickens connected from long range for a four-point spread. Layman added two more from the line and Maryland was up 69-63 with 1:19 showing.
Daniels made his two free attempts, then Wells added two more at the charity stripe, and a Daniels turnover resulted in a Trimble free throw and 72-65 score in the final 65 seconds.
Rutgers was up 8-0 early, but Maryland countered with 10 straight thanks to Trimble and Wells connecting from beyond the arc.
The hosts gained separation with an 11-3 run late in the first half. Down 22-20, Layman began the clip with a triple and added a dunk on the next trip down the floor. Nickens then contributed back-to-back treys and the Terps were up 31-25 with 2:03 left.
It was 38-31 at the break following two Trimble free throws.
Eleven in a row from the Scarlet Knights early in the second half put them up 42-38 on a Lewis layup, and that lead grew to 49-43 on a slam from Kadeem Jack less than six minutes in. The Terps then twice closed within a point but couldn't get over the hump: pulling to 49-48 on a Smotrycz layup and 52-51 on a Jon Graham bucket.
Junior Etoi's shot with 7:27 on the clock gave Rutgers a 57-51 edge, then Maryland responded on an 11-2 surge to go up 62-59. Wells poured in six during the clip and Nickens again converted a three.
Wednesday's matchup was the fourth between the schools, the inaugural meeting as members of the Big Ten and first since Rutgers claimed a 95-79 decision on Dec. 28, 1991 ... Mack also dished out a game-high six assists ... Maryland shot just 34.4 percent from the field (21-of-61), while Rutgers converted 45.5 percent (25-of-55) from the floor.