Allen, along with fellow freshman Charles Mitchell, kept telling Howard to shoot during the game.

Howard’s 3-pointer against Alabama to give Maryland a 51-47 lead with 4:47 left might have been the biggest basket of the game and one of the biggest of the season. It was also surprising considering the source, since it was his first in more than a month -- and only his second in the last 11 games.

As is his nature, Howard called his rare triple a bit of “luck” and said he shot it mainly to shut Allen up.  

“Really what I was thinking when I shot it was, I just heard little Seth here saying ‘shoot it, shoot it.’ I just need him to be quiet, so I’m just going to put it up. I consider it luck.”

Howard said the Terps missed having Allen coming off the bench.

“I could have used him,” Howard said. “Just having another threat offensively. He would have done great with that pressure. He’s so fast, he can get in that lane when they double guys. He would have gotten a lot of shots up. He would have done great in this game. We’re happy we won, but we definitely missed him.”

Shortening rotation has helped Turgeon

What has also made a difference the past few games is Turgeon finally going to a shorter rotation, eliminating those mass and frequent substitutions that often seemed to work against the Terps for most of the past three months.

The season-ending injury to Allen, sustained in practice Sunday in College Park, might have cost the Terps down the stretch had freshman Jake Layman not come up so big with his back-to-back 3s. I’m not sure Allen would have handled the full-court pressure any better than Dez Wells, Nick Faust and Howard did.

Mitchell helped give the Terps an early lead on the road, but the second half was essentially Len and four perimeter players. Given how little he has played of late, it was probably too much to expect anything from freshman Shaquille Cleare when he came in after Len picked up his fourth personal foul.

”We knew if we lost, we were done. If we won, we didn’t play for a week,” Turgeon said. “So we played guys a lot of minutes, especially in that second half. I thought we stayed pretty fresh throughout the game.”

LOOKING AHEAD

You know the Terps will be rooting Wednesday night for Virginia to beat Iowa in Charlottesville to set up an all-ACC semifinal in New York. That’s not so much for rooting for your fellow league member as it is for the Terps to get a chance to redeem themselves for two of their most distasteful defeats this season, one when Maryland came out flat at Comcast Center after beating Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and lost by 12 and then blew a 17-point first-half lead to the Cavaliers before losing by three in overtime in the regular-season finale.

Connor Letourneau contributed to this article.