Penn State became the fifth unranked team to beat a top-5 program in this upset-filled college basketball season, getting 15 points and 11 rebounds from Mike Watkins in a 76-69 win over No. 4 Maryland on Tuesday night.
Lamar Stevens added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington each scored 14 points, and Myles Dread had 12 points for the Nittany Lions (8-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who led for all but 1:54.
Jalen Smith had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (10-1, 1-1), who were trying for their first 11-0 start since 1996.
Eric Ayala scored 15, Anthony Cowan Jr. had 14, Aaron Wiggins had 13 and Serrel Smith added 12 for the Terps, who trailed 40-30 at halftime.
Penn State’s win was followed minutes later by another unranked team knocking off an unbeaten opponent — Texas Tech over No. 1 Louisville at Madison Square Garden.
The Nittany Lions led by as many as 10 with 15:19 to play, but the Terps used an 11-3 run capped by a 3-pointer from Cowan to cut the deficit to 52-50 with 10:57 left.
They wouldn’t get any closer, and Penn State won its first game against a top-5 team since Feb. 17, 2016, when the Nittany Lions knocked off then-No. 4 Iowa.
Penn State leaned on its defense to build its first-half lead.
The Nittany Lions forced 12 turnovers in the first 10 minutes and used most of them to fuel an 18-5 run. Dread capped the sequence with a 3-pointer that made it 27-15.
Maryland slowed the pace with a pair of jumpers before Cowan hit a 3 that cut Penn State’s lead to five. The Nittany Lions closed the half with a 13-8 run, capped by a buzzer-beating 3 from Jones.
Maryland: The Terps fell behind early for a second straight game, but it didn’t work out as well against a bigger, more skilled opponent. Maryland also spotted Illinois a big lead on Saturday before rallying.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions have beaten top teams at home in the Patrick Chambers era, but those wins have usually come late in the season.
Maryland visits No. 22 Seton Hall on Dec. 19
Penn State hosts Alabama on Saturday.