Undefeated Home Streak comes to an end in Front of a Sellout Crowd
With their first primetime ESPN match up of the season, the Terps didn’t respond to the “bright lights and big city” feel of the game. This match held large implications for the Big Ten regular season title, as an MSU win would put them just one game behind Maryland with two games left to play.
Sadly, this game saw the return of the patented Maryland slow start, as MSU started the game off on a 17-5 scoring run in the first 5 minutes. Double digit comebacks are a specialty for this team, UMD came back to tie the contest at 23. It was a brief escape from the vice grip of the Spartans’ defense.
This tie would prove to be fool’s gold though, as a 6-and-a-half-minute scoring drought followed. The remainder of the half was uneventful, barring a half court buzzer beater by Cassius Winston to up the MSU lead back to 11. Maryland was going to need some of that comeback magic if they wanted to pull out of this one.
The second half saw no such comeback. Even though MD was able to cut the lead back within single digits several times, they just could not get the key defensive stops when the Terps most needed to.
The game ended in the hands of Michigan State as they cruised to a 12-point victory and handed MD their first home loss of the year.
Maryland will has another short turnaround for their next game, traveling to New Jersey on tonight to play against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is an extremely good home team. With Saturday’s loss, the Terps are only 1 game ahead of Michigan State (among others) for the lead of the Big Ten and will have to claw their way through these last two games if they wish to keep that lead.
Notable Statlines, The Good and The Not So Good:
Donta Scott-Scott played great here, totaling 10 points and being a catalyst for MD’s offense early on in the first half. He’s shown great promise as a freshman this year, and we can only hope he gets even better with experience and increased minutes as Smith and Cowan are set to leave soon for the NBA.
Jalen Smith-Another day, another double-double for Jalen Smith. Picking up from exactly where Bruno Fernando left off, Smith has a great case for all conference, even with all the other great Big Ten centers like Luka Garza and Kofi Cockburn. Smith ended the night with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
The Not So Good:
Maryland’s Slow Start-A trait that I thought UMD had pushed by the wayside, the Terps started out with a lethargic offensive performance as MSU stomped out to a 17-5 scoring run. This would prove to be far too much for MD to overcome, as from that point onward there were only a few times where Maryland even cut it close. Overall, just a shameful offensive display for a packed home crowd on primetime television.
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