March 02, 2015

Maryland moved to the Big Ten and has finally moved back into the top 10.

Rutgers moved to the conference and is on the verge of the second-longest losing streak in program history.

The No. 10 Terrapins can notch a sixth straight win Tuesday night when they go on the road to try to hand one of major college basketball's worst teams its 13th straight loss.

Maryland (24-5, 12-4) is ranked in the top 10 for the first time since it was No. 8 in the Feb. 3, 2003 poll.

The Terrapins will end a four-season NCAA tournament drought as they enjoy their longest conference winning streak since taking their last seven ACC games in 2009-10.

Freshman Melo Trimble scored 19 as Maryland completed a 9-0 Big Ten home mark with Saturday's 66-56 win over Michigan. The last time the Terrapins, who finished 18-1 at home, had a perfect home conference mark was the 2009-10 team that went 8-0 in the ACC.

"We are the first Big Ten team at Maryland, and to be able to do what we did (is special)," said forward Evan Smotrycz, who was one of seven Terrapins playing his final home game. "We still have a lot to play for and hopefully we are remembered for more than just being undefeated at home in conference play."

The transition to the Big Ten has been much worse for Rutgers (10-19, 2-14), which never made the NCAA tournament in 18 seasons in the Big East and spent last season in the American Athletic Conference before finding things rough in its new surroundings.

The Scarlet Knights are enduring the program's longest slide since a school-record 16-game run in 1987-88. Rutgers won't be able to match that with three games left including the conference tournament opener.

Second-year coach Eddie Jordan has guided the team through this transition. He said he was proud of a senior class that chose to stay with the program that includes top two scorers Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack, who will be among four seniors honored in their final home game.

"I don't know what they expected but they expected to stay here and play for their school," said Jordan, one of six Division I coaches at his alma mater to also play in the NBA. "That's very, very admirable for them and they've shown that every single day they've been here with me."

Rutgers averages 59.0 points to rank last among teams in major conferences. It has the third-lowest shooting percentage among those teams at 38.8 percent and is fourth-worst on 3-pointers (29.5)

The Scarlet Knights fell 92-85 at Purdue in their last game Thursday. Jack had 18 points and 11 boards for his third double-double.

Rutgers' losing streak began with a 73-65 defeat at Maryland on Jan. 14, blowing a six-point lead with 7:27 left. Mack led all players with 19 points while the Terrapins turned in their worst home shooting effort at 34.4 percent and were led by Dez Wells' 17 points.

Trimble scored 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting. He was coached for a short time by Jordan in AAU ball and was a high school teammate of Knights top rebounder Junior Etou.

Rutgers has dropped five straight at home, with the last four coming by an average of 19.8 points.

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