The Terrapins (12-14, 4-11 Big Ten), who were coming off a one-point loss Sunday at No. 3 Purdue, won for the first time since Jan. 25.
Nebraska (7-19, 1-14) offered some first-half resistance but fell away in the second half, losing for the 12th time in 13 games.
Maryland struggled from beyond the arc, making 4 of its 19 attempts, but thrived at the free throw line, where it went 24 for 33, including 11 for 13 in the first half. Maryland entered Friday shooting 75.4 percent from the stripe, second in the Big Ten.
But Nebraska, third from the bottom of the league in that category, stayed within striking distance thanks to a 12-for-14 free throw effort in the first half, including 7-for-8 from freshman Bryce McGowens. McGowens had a game-high 25 points in the loss.
The Terrapins got an early boost from freshman forward Julian Reese, who notched a career-high 13 points, all in the first half. Fatts Russell led the Terps with 23 points to go with five rebounds.
“That kid’s a heck of a player,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said of Reese. “He’s going to be a problem in this league for a long time.”
Senior guard Eric Ayala returned to action after missing Sunday’s game with a wrist injury and provided a boost off the bench. Even with his wrist taped, he put in 24 minutes and finished with just two points but dished four assists and added five rebounds.
“He’s a guy who’s used to playing extended minutes for us. He didn’t have a great game in terms of scoring the basketball, and he’s our leading scorer. But just his presence down the stretch against their press, making sure we got the ball to the right guys, he’s a calming factor for us,” Maryland interim coach Danny Manning said.
Maryland led 42-40 at halftime and seized control to start the second half as the Cornhuskers went cold. Russell made a three-pointer to spark a 12-3 run, pushing the lead to 54-43. The advantage ballooned to as many as 20 points as the Terrapins got 12 second-half points off turnovers.
The Huskers also struggled with foul trouble, especially for starting forward Derrick Walker and point guard Alonzo Verge Jr. Maryland took full advantage and picked up 22 points in the paint in the second half.
Here’s what else to know from Friday’s game:
Reese was called for a technical foul with 9:32 to play after shoving McGowens after the two tangled and both hit the floor.
The play was first called a personal foul before the officials went for a monitor review to award the technical. Reese would foul out with 2:21 left.
McGowens stays hot
McGowens continued his excellent first-year campaign. The 6-foot-7 guard is a six-time Big Ten freshman of the week — including the past three honors.
He was 14 for 15 from the line and became just one of two freshmen in the nation to have made at least 100 free throws.
Power conference woes
Friday’s loss dropped Nebraska to 1-18 against power conference opponents.