April 24, 2017

Maryland Basketball: Terps comeback against Michigan falls short on the road

Coming off of a clutch victory against the Wisconsin Badgers where sophomore guard Melo Trimble did this, the Maryland Terrapins had a quick turnaround before going right back on the road again. This time — a visit to Ann Arbor to play the Michigan Wolverines. Luckily for the Terps, they avoided NBA prospect and 17.6 points per game scorer Caris LeVert (left leg) for the second straight season.

Unlucky for the Terps is that John Beilein’s club made 12 3s in the game in what seemed like a nightmare to last year’s Indiana game. The Terrapins defense was a let down late and Maryland dropped their first Big Ten game of the year, 70-67, when Rasheed Sulaimon‘s “good look” did not fall.

John Beilein gameplans and Wolverines execute

The Michigan Wolverines do not have great size on their team so as a result they rely on 3-pointers for the bulk of their scoring. To start the game — and then end the half — Maryland’s perimeter defense was shaky and led to a 3-point competition. Michigan was 8 of 15 (53.3 percent) from beyond the arc, thanks much in part to Division III transfer Duncan Robinson. Robinson had made 54 threes coming into the game while shooting a ridiculous 55.7 percent from the deep, and he had four 3-pointers in the first half alone. Michigan had every intention of taking the majority of their shots from beyond the arc and that happened in the first half where they had half as many baskets inside the lines as compared to beyond it.

Maryland offense struggles to gain traction in first half

When shots are falling, the pick and roll is rolling, and Melo Trimble is on the floor the Terps are just short of unstoppable. Unfortunately, none of that happened, in large part due to Trimble picking up his second personal foul with 9:30 remaining in the first half. In a season low minutes played in the first half, 10, Trimble watched as his team committed eight total turnovers in the half while shooting 3 of 10 from beyond the arc. If it were not for the play of Jake Layman and Robert Carter Jr. the Terps would have been down a lot more than 37-29 at halftime, tied for their largest deficit of the year.

When all looks hopeless, dominance in the paint gets Terps back in it

Michigan stayed on fire in the second half as they hit a couple of deep 3s to take a 13 point lead with 16:41 remaining in the game. Maryland went on a 22-8 run over a nine minute span, where Diamond Stone had 16 points. Stone simply ate up space, took his time, and converted layups (even through contact at times). Stone briefly gave Maryland their first lead since 5:49 left in the first half at 57-56 but that would be when Michigan took control for good.

After a stretch where Terrapins figured out it’s defense, it forgot it again

(Photo by: Kirthmon F. Dozier)

(Photo by: Kirthmon F. Dozier)

Maryland got back into the game when the Wolverines were unable to keep up their incredible shooting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately their defense in the paint started to fall apart. A couple of backdoor layups without rotation allowed Michigan to stop the momentum Maryland had built up. Then Michigan just came through in the clutch, starting with Derrick Walton taking advantage of his matchup against Carter with a step back 3. Then after Layman missed a rare shot off of a post touch, Zak Irvin poured in a dagger 3-pointer to add to his season high 22-point performance. Sulaimon hit a couple of 3s after Maryland started 4 of 21 but was long on a game-tying attempt at the end of the game.

This is not the end of the world, R-E-L-A-X

When a team gets 36 points on shots from beyond the arc, more times than not the opposing team is going to lose. Similar to last year’s loss to Indiana, and earlier this season to UNC, when the shots are falling for the other team and not as well for you it is nearly impossible to win. Maryland should be happy on a small level when their guards go 4 of 17 from the field and they still have a chance to win at the end.

Diamond Stone continues to grow up right before our eyes, Robert Carter remains consistent as always, and when Maryland needed him the most Jake Layman came through in the first half by starting the game 6 of 6. A road loss, three days after a thrilling road win, to a tournament team is not the end of the world. The Terps will still make the big dance and likely host a regional as a one or two seed.

In what hopefully ends up being Melo Trimble’s worst game of the year: 1 of 7 shooting, 0 of 3 from beyond the arc, and a season low zero free throw attempts, the Terps were still competitive without their best player. After the game, head coach Mark Turgeon said Trimble “totally lost his rhythm” after picking up his second foul midway through the first half on his way to a career-low scoring performance. Winning back-to-back road games in the NBA is tough and even tougher in college where travel is more burdensome.

Maryland (15-2) will return home for a Saturday matinee (12 p.m.) against the Ohio State Buckeyes on ESPN2 in hopes to avenge a loss to the current Los Angeles Lakers D’Angelo Russell from last year.

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. […] with Jake Layman, Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter was one of the lone bright spots in a loss to Michigan on Tuesday. Carter was the feature on offense on five of the Terps six possessions to start the […]

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