By DAVID GINSBURG/AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Joshua Langford scored 19 points and led a second-half surge that carried No. 6 Michigan State past fading Maryland 74-68 Sunday, giving Spartans coach Tom Izzo his seventh straight 20-win season.
Down by 13 at halftime, Michigan State (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten) returned to outscore the Terrapins 20-4 in the opening 5 plus minutes and held on for its fourth straight victory.
Izzo, who now has 18 20-win seasons at Michigan State, has missed that plateau only once since 2003-04.
Cassius Winston scored 13 and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 12 for the Spartans, who shot 53 percent after halftime and finished with a 46-29 rebounding advantage.
After Maryland closed to 63-61 with 1:43 left, Langford grabbed the rebound of a miss by teammate Miles Bridges, and Winston subsequently made two free throws to all but seal the win.
Kevin Huerter led Maryland with 17 points, and Anthony Cowan Jr. and Darryl Morsell each had 12. The Terrapins (15-8, 4-6) have lost five of seven, a skid that began with a 91-61 defeat at Michigan State on Jan. 4.
This one had the potential to be an upset until the start of the second half, when the Spartans got a pair of 3-pointers from Jackson and two baskets from Langford in an 11-2 spurt that made it 39-35.
After Bruno Fernando scored in the lane for Maryland, Michigan State rattled off nine straight points to go on top for the first time.
In the first half, the Spartans went 9 for 33 from the floor, including 1 for 10 from beyond the arc.
Maryland delighted the sellout crowd of 17,950 by bolting in front 8-0, getting two 3-pointers from Dion Wiley and an alley-oop dunk by Morsell.
After missing eight of their first nine shots, the Spartans closed to 18-16 before Michal Cekovsky made three baskets in a 10-2 run that gave the Terps their first double-digit lead.
Michigan State: Despite scoring only 24 points in a horrid first half, the Spartans appear to have recovered from a temporary lapse earlier this month, when they sandwiched two losses around an overtime win over Rutgers. With three strong wins this week, two on the road, Michigan State has established itself as a worthy fixture in the Top 10.
Maryland: The Terrapins’ hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament for a fourth successive season are sinking quickly. Maryland still doesn’t have a signature victory and has showed it can’t compete with Michigan State.
Former Maryland star Greivis Vasquez returned to promote a drive to provide school supplies for underprivileged youth. He sat courtside next to another Maryland alum, sportscaster Scott Van Pelt.
Michigan State hosts Penn State (15-8, 5-5) on Wednesday night.
Maryland faces No. 3 Purdue on Wednesday night, a rematch of a Dec. 1 matchup won by the Boilermakers 80-75.
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