Ranked teams meet as No. 20 Illinois hosts No. 9 Maryland
No. 9 Maryland (18-4, 8-3) vs. No. 20 Illinois (16-6, 8-3)
State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois; Friday, 8 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Two ranked teams meet as No. 9 Maryland visits No. 20 Illinois in a Big Ten showdown. Maryland has two wins and zero losses against ranked opponents this season, while Illinois has won one of its four games against ranked teams.
LEADING THE CHARGE: The Terrapins are led by Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan Jr.. Smith is averaging 15.2 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while Cowan is putting up 16.3 points and 4.3 assists per game. The Fighting Illini have been led by Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu, who have combined to score 29.8 points per outing.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Fighting Illini have given up only 61.2 points per game to conference opponents thus far, an improvement from the 68 per game they gave up to non-conference competition.
SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Dosunmu has made or assisted on 46 percent of all Illinois field goals over the last five games. The sophomore guard has accounted for 33 field goals and 24 assists in those games.
LONG-RANGE THREAT: Maryland’s Eric Ayala has attempted 96 3-pointers and connected on 24 percent of them, and is 5 for 20 over his last five games.
STREAK STATS: Illinois has won its last seven home games, scoring an average of 69.4 points while giving up 55.9.
DID YOU KNOW: Illinois is ranked eighth among Division I teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 36.9 percent. The Fighting Illini have averaged 12.7 offensive boards per game.