With the Terrapins ahead 62-61, Dez Wells, who finished with his second straight double-double, hit a jumper to give his team a 64-61 lead with 8.8 seconds to play in the game.
Nebraska got one last chance to tie the game but their shot was off the mark and the Terps were able to finish the season 5-4 on the road at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Wells finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists and scored the final seven points for the Terrapins. Freshman star Melo Trimble added 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists. It was his NBA-range 3-pointer that tied the game at 48-48 with 9:52 to go. Neither team led by more than six points and that shot turned the tide the Terps way because they never trailed again.
Junior forward Jake Layman, who was ill, contributed 11 points to the victory which allowed the Terps to achieve their preseason goal of having a winning record on the road in their first year in the Big Ten conference.
The Terrapins were helped by the Cornhuskers who missed seven critical free throws down the stretch and finished 23 of 37 for the game, 12 of 22 from the charity stripe in the second half. By contrast, the Terps shot 84 percent from the line making 21 of 25 attempts with Trimble leading the way making 9 of 10.
The Terps, who committed 17 turnovers and had the ball taken away 10 times, were helped by their defense which held Nebraska to 31 percent shooting from the floor as they made only 2 of 14 of their three-point attempts. Maryland won the rebounding battle 41-38.
The Terps, who were picked to finish 10th in the conference in preseason polls, ended the regular season (26-5, 14-4 Big Ten) good for second place in the conference and the most regular season wins in program history.
Maryland led 31-29 at the half despite having leading scorer Trimble only play nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Nebraska began the second half on an 11-3 run to take a 40-34 advantage on a David River’s layup with 15:14 to go in the game.
The Terps responded with a 14-8 scoring burst of their own to tie the game at 48-48 on Trimble’s 3-pointer. Nebraska got as close as 62-61 on a basket and free throw by Shavon Shields, but Wells answered with his game-winning jumper with under 10 seconds to play to deliver the victory.
The Terrapins, who received a double-bye as a result of their second place finish, will play the winner of the Indiana-Northwestern game on Friday as they take part in their first Big Ten conference tournament.
Nebraska, who ended the game on an eight game losing streak, were led by Shields who scored 26 points, collected six rebounds, had four steals and three assists. Terran Petteway added 19 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in a losing effort for the ( 13-17, 5-13) Cornhuskers.