- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. — A turnover by South Dakota State in the closing seconds helped Maryland avoid a place with all the other top seeds that lost in the first round of this topsy-turvy NCAA tournament.

The Terrapins held off South Dakota State, 79-74, on Friday afternoon behind a career-high 27 points from Jake Layman.

Deondre Parks fumbled a pass from Keaton Moffitt for the 12th-seeded Jackrabbits in the closing seconds and Rasheed Sulaimon picked up the ball and stuffed it for the final points.

South Dakota State was seeking its first victory in the NCAA tournament, but was undone by cold shooting in the first half.

“We don’t ever talk about losing,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said, even after the Jackrabbits stormed back from 18 points down in the closing minutes of the game.

“We knew about yesterday’s upsets, we have been kind of locked in. Today, we obviously knew Hawaii beat Cal, today, but besides that, we were just really locked in.”

Melo Trimble added 19 points and Jared Nickens scored 14 points for Maryland, which made 51 percent of its shots, including nine 3-pointers.

Maryland, the No. 5 seed in the South Region, plays No. 13 seed Hawaii, a 77-66 winner Friday over Cal, in Sunday’s second round.

Parks scored 22 points for the Jackrabbits, who trailed by double digits much of the game before getting hot in the final minutes.

“Had a 11-point lead, and they hit back-to-back 3s and everything changed,” Turgeon said.

South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy was proud of his team for battling back.

“We just were so bad offensively in the first half,” when they shot just 26.5 percent, Nagy said. “We scored 52 points in the second half, so we clearly played better offensively.”

South Dakota State post player Mike Daum said he and his teammates never got upset at falling behind.

“We had that set in our mind that we can win this game no matter what, no matter who we play,” Daum said. “It just didn’t happen.”

After trailing by double digits most of the game, South Dakota State got 3-pointers from Parks and George Marshall to cut the Maryland lead to five points with 2:54 left.

Trimble hit a pair of free throws for a 72-65 lead for Maryland, but Parks replied with two.

Maryland then turned the ball over when the shot clock expired. Marshall missed a 3-pointer but was fouled by Trimble with 1:03 left. Trimble fouled out on the play.

Marshall hit all three free throws to cut Maryland’s lead to 72-70 with 1:03 left, then fouled out shortly after.

Layman hit both free throws for a 74-70 lead, which it kept.

“If I had the final play over, I would have called a timeout,” Nagy said. “We knew what to do, but we just had personnel in there that we don’t normally have in there in those situations.”

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