By Todd Carton
Picking up where they left off from Sunday’s win over Minnesota the Terps (12-10; 6-9) came out of the locker room on fire from deep making three of their first six from behind the arc. Two of those makes came from the hands of Jairus Hamilton who made three of his four long range shots and finished the half with 11 points off the bench. However, perhaps presaging the second half when the long range shooting percentages for both teams dropped faster than the temperature outside the Xfinity Center, Maryland finished the half just 4-11 including a banked in buzzer beating heave by from half court by Darryl Morsell.
With 10 first half turnovers, Maryland was uncharacteristically sloppy and that combined with some uncharacteristically good shooting by the Nebraska allowed the Cornhuskers to stay close. They trailed by only a point until Morsell’s only made shot of the night provided the Terps a 32-28 lead going into the break.
The Terps added an additional seven turnovers to their first half total cresting at a season high 17. Their last turnover came with 8:49 to play and Maryland clinging to a 42-41 lead because while the Cornhuskers shot the ball as though they were hurling ice bricks at the hoop making just 8 of 28 shots in the half including 2-14 from three point range.
After Kobe Webster’s three pointer for Nebraska tied the score at 44, Aaron Wiggins didn’t merely assert his will, he dominated the game’s final eight minutes. Starting with an old fashioned three point play, Wiggins scored 12 of his game high 21 points and pulled down four of his team leading 11 rebounds leading the Terps on a 20-6 run to close the game.
Wiggins received just enough help from Hamilton (15 points; 5 rebounds) and Donta Scott who finished with nine points and eight rebounds with those three helping the Terps to a dominating 43-28 edge on the boards.
With five winnable games remaining in the regular season, Tuesday night’s win inches Maryland ever closer to a possible NCAA bid. The Terps will look to continue their late season momentum when they tip off against Nebraska for the second in this unusual back to back series.
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