August 20, 2019

Maryland Basketball: After shaky play during regulation, Terps beat Wildcats in OT for regular season sweep

Over two weeks removed from dominating the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, the Maryland Terrapins opened up the Xfinity Center doors for a rematch. Fresh off their historic beatdown of Ohio StateMark Turgeon is far from concerned about Melo Trimble‘s lack of a double-digit scoring performance over the past four games because “he is a winner” that knows exactly what the team needs.

In overtime the Upper Marlboro native came through to make up for all of the mistakes made during regulation. Maryland allowed 16 offensive rebounds, which were converted into 16 second chance points, and committed 16 turnovers that Northwestern cashed into another 14 points. The Terps led that game for less time than the Wildcats but the defensive performance that was one of the “best” ever according to Turgeon helped pull out a 62-56 victory in overtime.

Turnovers, sloppy rebounding, and passive defense in the post put Terps in a hole

The one knock against Maryland, there is not much talent cannot make up for, is that they play too inconsistently from game to game, especially to start. The Terps trailed 24-17 midway through the first half even though Northwestern was not shooting the ball that well. The Wildcats turned seven Terrapin turnovers into eight points, had nine more points off of five offensive rebounds, and received a boost from backup center Dererk Pardon. With no help defense, Pardon was getting the Maryland bigs up in the air and efficiently converted in the paint on all four of his shot attempts. It was only Pardon committing his second foul that helped stem the tide.

Wildcats go cold and start even out the turnover battle to put Maryland in front

It was not until their was 8:50 remaining in the first half that Northwestern, a usually turnover prone team, to commit their first miscue. From their they had five turnovers by the end of the half that the Terps easily cashed in for nine points. A patented Melo Trimble layup where he finished acrobatically mid flight, had John Wall (sitting courtside) in awe, and changed the momentum. After Damonte Dodd, seeing extended minutes when Diamond Stone picked up his second foul midway through the half, made his presence felt with an offensive rebound putback the floodgates opened. The Terps went on a 10-0 run that featured a Jared Nickens three-point play the old-fashioned way, surprising I know, and Melo Trimble finding range when left unguarded off of a switch. With Northwestern in the midst of a 2 of 11 cold spell from the floor, Maryland was able to take a 31-29 led into halftime after not getting their first lead until two minutes prior to intermission.

Game of runs foreshadows this one coming down to the wire

Robert Carter Jr. showed he had just about enough of this rubbishly close encounter with Northwestern by starting the second half scoring with a pro-level hook shot. Maryland would put together an 8-2 run to go up 39-31 in what seemed to know be a formality. That would not be the case as Northwestern immediately came back with a 12-2 run that started right out of the time out with an Aaron Falzon three ball. At the under-8 minute timeout, Northwestern led 45-43 and the life was sucked out of Xfinity fearing their 23-game home winning streak coming to an end.

Cold spell for both teams during crunch time means overtime

After Jake Layman hit a three pointer with less than five minutes to play, things got ugly for both sides. Maryland did not score in the final 4:45 of regulation while finishing the half just 2 of 10 from the field. Northwestern was not much better as they score a single point over the last five minutes and were 1 of their last 12 field goal attempts during regulation. If the Wildcats had converted on their offensive rebounds the way they were in the beginning of the game we would be frustrated with the Terps second loss in the span of the week. Luckily things could not be settled after 40 minutes of play with the game tied at 48.

Melo Trimble comes through in the clutch

(Photo by: Sung-Min Kim/ Testudo Times)

(Photo by: Sung-Min Kim/ Testudo Times)

The National Player of the Year candidate tied his career-high in field goal attempts at 18 against Northwestern. Coincidentally the other time that happened in his two year span was against the Wildcats last year when it took a miracle from Dez Wells to win the game. In overtime Trimble started things off with an aggressive drive that culminated in a three-point lay. Then he assisted Carter and Stone beautfiully off the pick-and-roll to give Maryland a three point lead with less than a minute to go. With Northwestern’s guards continuing to go cold from the field and unable to find other ways to help their team as Trimble did, Maryland salted away the game at the free throw line.

For the 24th straight time in school history, the Maryland Terrapins were victorious at Xfinity Center; this time the 62-56 gut wrenching overtime variety.

Maryland will travel to East Lansing for their second biggest test of the year, after losing at the Dean Dome, to face No. 11 Michigan State. Although the Spartans have fallen twice to the Iowa Hawkeyes, they are still a great and experienced team led by point forward Denzel Valentine. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 pm on ESPN.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] seemed that the nightmare defensive rebounding performance of last Tuesday’s Northwestern game haunted Maryland to Michigan. Against the Wildcats, Maryland gave up 16 offensive rebounds in […]

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