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Terps look to upset another ranked team

Ayala to return as Maryland visits No. 7 Michigan
Posted at 2:41 PM, Jan 19, 2021

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It’s another tilt with a Top-25 Big Ten team. Bring it on say the Terps.

"The bad thing about this league is everybody is really good. The great thing about this league is you got a chance to beat somebody good every night," said Head Coach Mark Turgeon.

Maryland (8-6, 2-5) faces a ranked team Tuesday for the fourth time in their last five conference games. The Terrapins visit No. 7 Michigan (11-1, 6-1) at 7:00 p.m. The Terps have already beaten a couple of ranked teams this season. They topped No. 12 Illinois on the road just nine days ago.

Turgeon said Michigan is the best team the Terps have played all season. They lost to the Wolverines at home on New Year’s Eve. Since then, 2021 has been good to Maryland.

"I think our team has gotten better since the last time we played them," he said. "We got to be better on the guards [against Michigan]. We got to be better in transition. A lot of things we have to be better at. Post defense has to be better."

"We’re just focused on playing our game and just trying to be as physical as possible," said guard Darryl Morsell.

The Terps enter the match-up winners of back-to-back games for the first time since non-conference play. They beat Division II Wingate on Friday.

"Just to see that we’re all playing well and being confident is the biggest thing right now," added Morsell.

Guard Eric Ayala is set to return to the lineup on Tuesday. The Terps’ leading scorer has missed the past couple games with a groin injury.

"He’s fine. I don’t think the injury is going to be a problem," said Turgeon. "I’m a little worried about his conditioning because he’s been out a while. But, he’s going to play."

If the Terps are able to upset the Wolverines it will be the first time in program history they will have defeated three AP Top-25 teams on the road in the same season.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook