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Maryland men’s basketball falls short of pulling off another upset in 85-80 loss to No. 14 Illinois

COLLEGE PARK — Terrence Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask made sure Maryland men’s basketball did not upset Illinois again.

Shannon and Domask, the top-scoring duo in the Big Ten, combined for 46 points to spark the No. 14 Fighting Illini to an 85-80 win against the host Terps on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 17,950 at Xfinity Center.

Shannon, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior shooting guard who entered the game ranked second in the conference in scoring at 21.1 points per game, scored 27 points, and Domask, a 6-6, 215-point graduate student small forward, chipped in 19 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. They accounted for 54.2% of the team’s field goals (13 of 24).

Senior power forward Coleman Hawkins added 14 points and seven rebounds as Illinois (19-6, 10-4 Big Ten) picked up its fifth victory in its past six games and avenged a 76-67 setback to Maryland on Jan. 14, when the Fighting Illini were the No. 10 team in the nation.

Shannon did not outduel Maryland fifth-year senior point guard Jahmir Young, the conference’s third-leading scorer at 20.9 points per game. Young compiled a game-high 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists, junior power forward Julian Reese earned his 14th double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and fifth-year senior forward Donta Scott came off the bench to provide 17 points and five rebounds.

But the Terps (14-12, 6-9) suffered their fourth loss in their past five games because their offense disappeared in the clutch. After they trimmed the deficit to 74-73 with 3:37 left in the second half, they went 1:59 without a point until Scott converted a pair of free throws at 1:38.

During that stretch, Illinois scored five unanswered points and had enough of a cushion to hold off the Terps for the victory.

Had Maryland defeated the Fighting Illini, the program would have swept a ranked Big Ten opponent for the first time since joining the league in 2014 and a ranked conference rival for the first time since 2006-07, when that squad stunned No. 16 Duke, 72-60, on Feb. 11, 2007, and the No. 14 Blue Devils, 85-77, on Feb. 28.

Instead, Maryland could not extend a three-game winning streak against Illinois and lost for the first time in six meetings at home against the Fighting Illini.

The setback followed the death of Hall of Fame coach Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell, who died Saturday morning at the age of 92 at his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Before the game, a moment of silence to honor Driesell, who lifted the school into national prominence, was held before the National Anthem, and Maryland players wore throwback uniforms from the Driesell era that had only been used Jan. 21 against Michigan State.

“Lefty was responsible for moving Maryland into the modern era in college basketball when he took over in 1969-70,” fellow Hall of Fame coach Gary Williams said in a statement. “Not just in Cole Field House, but especially in the DMV, he raised the level of college basketball in the area. He did it on a national level, something that was very difficult to do. Lefty will always be remembered as one of the legends of the game. His personality, the teams he coached, all of those things, created an aura around Lefty that very few coaches ever had.”

Shannon missed last month’s shocking loss to the Terps and five more games because of his arrest in late December on a rape charge in Lawrence, Kansas. His suspension was reversed by a federal judge, and Shannon reminded fans at Xfinity Center why he is considered a prospect for the upcoming NBA draft, scoring 16 points — including 10 of 12 free throws — in the second half.

Shannon wasn’t a one-man show, however. Domask scored 13 points in the first half and accumulated 2,004 in his career to become the 19th active player in NCAA Division I to reach the 2,000-point milestone.

Maryland was short-handed Saturday. Unavailable to play were senior small forward Jordan Geronimo, who injured his right knee late in the first half of Wednesday night’s 78-66 victory over Iowa, and sophomore small forward Noah Batchelor, who sat out his second straight game with his left foot in a walking boot.

Minutes before the game, a team spokesman said Scott would not make the 140th start of his career after suffering an injury, although it wasn’t known how or when he suffered it. He checked in less than two minutes into the game with a brace on his left knee.

With 33 minutes in Saturday’s game, Scott has played 4,568 in his career, tying Greivis Vasquez’s all-time record of 4,568 set from 2006 to 2010. Scott also extended his program record for games played (155).

Sophomore power forward Mady Traore made his third consecutive start for the Terps. He appeared to be out for an extended period of time after injuring his left knee early in the second half of the victory against Iowa, but he was limited to zero points and one rebound in 12 minutes.

This story will be updated.

Maryland at No. 20 Wisconsin

Tuesday, 9 p.m.

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