COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Despite 20 points from sophomore Anthony Cowan Jr. and a furious comeback effort in the final minutes, Purdue opened defense of its Big Ten regular season title by holding off Maryland 80-75 Friday night.
Isaac Haas scored 21 points and Dakota Mathias added 20 to pace the Boilermakers (7-2, 1-0) who blew a 14-point lead, then let a 10-point cushion shrink to 62-60 before Mathias and the 7-foot-3 Haas took over.
Mathias made pair of foul shots and Haas had seven points in a 10-2 surge that finally gave Purdue some separation.
It was 76-68 with 58 seconds left before the Terrapins launched their final comeback. Cowan Jr. made a 4-point play, then a 3-point play to cut the gap to 78-75.
Shooting with a chance to tie it, Jared Nickens missed a jumper from the corner, and Purdue's P.J. Thompson clinched it with two free throws.
Carsen Edwards scored 18 for the Boilermakers, who got all their points from the five starters.
Cowan Jr. scored 20 and Kevin Huerter had 19 for Maryland (6-3, 0-1). The Terrapins scored the first seven points after halftime, the last of them on a 3-pointer by Huerter, to take their first lead at 44-43.
Maryland trailed by 14 points in the first half before closing with a 10-3 run to make it 43-37 at the break.
Mathias scored 18 and made all seven of his field goal tries, including four 3-pointers, and Haas added 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
Mathias hit his first five shots and the Boilermakers went 10 for 12 from the floor in bolting to a 25-13 lead. After Hass scored eight of Purdue's first 13 points, Mathias accounted for 10 points in a 12-3 spree.
It was 32-18 with 7 minutes left in the half. At that juncture, the Boilermakers had made 13 of 17 field goal tries and Maryland was 6 for 22.
Maryland will travel to Illinois on Sunday night to play the Illini at 8:00 pm on the Big Ten Network.
The Associated Press contributed to this report