A Strong Start Carries the Terps to the Finish Line
Maryland looked for redemption following a last second (OK, 15 seconds) meltdown against Wisconsin. They returned home to play the 10-7 Purdue Boilermakers in a grinder of a matchup.
The Terps started off insanely hot, holding Purdue scoreless in the first four minutes as well as finding consistent scoring all around the court. Smith, Wiggins, and Ayala were all hot in the first half, cashing in on assists dished out by Anthony Cowan.
Purdue was abysmal offensively in the first half, going 0-6 from three on 8-25 in their total shooting. On all fronts, Maryland came out and played a fantastic first half to silence the naysayers and enter the locker room up by 16 after the first 20 minutes.
The second half was a different story. By taking their foot off the gas, UMD managed to let their lead slip away, only holding on by as little as three points at one juncture late in the game. Maryland let their overall shooting slip down to 28% (7-25), losing their poise from beyond the arc and shooting 0-9 in the 2nd half from the perimeter. The Terps also lost the rebound battle in the second half, gifting Purdue countless offensive rebounds and second chance points. Despite an extremely sloppy and ineffective second half for Maryland, a 16 point lead proved too steep for Purdue to overcome. In the end, it was UMD 57 and Purdue 50.
Maryland packs up for another 2-game road trip, at Northwestern and Indiana, hoping to snap that awful 0-4 record they hold in true road games.
Notable Statlines, The Good and The Not So Good:
Jalen Smith-Smith continues to headline The Good week in and week out, showing his influence on both sides of the ball every week. Tonight was no different, scoring the most of anyone on the floor with 18 points (on 8-13 total shooting, 2-5 from three) and reaching a double-double with 10 rebounds. He would also add 4 more blocks to an already great stat line.
Maryland’s Starting Offense-Everyone, for the first time all season besides their Marquette game, came out the gate firing on all cylinders offensively. Smith, Wiggins, and Ayala were all able to connect from deep in the first ten minutes alone. Maybe this can become the norm and not just a lucky outlier.
The Not So Good:
Maryland’s Lackadaisical Second Half-I can understand letting off a bit with a 16-point lead, but it almost completely slipped away. We all know that there are two teams on the court, both trying hard. However, in my opinion, the Terps should have recorded a blowout win here. Luckily for the Terrapins, there was no such nightmare scenario where Purdue found a way to retake the lead.
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