August 20, 2019

Maryland Basketball: Michigan State plays harder as Terps lose their third game of the year

(Photo by: 247 Sports)

(Photo by: 247 Sports)

While the Lady Terps bout with the Michigan State Spartans was canceled due to Winter Storm Jonas, the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball got out to East Lansing prior to the blizzard. In a matchup between the two best teams in the Big Ten — although Iowa climbing fast — the Terps and Spartans waged war after three encounters last season. From the first half alone it was clear that the Spartans played harder. They played their “hardest in years” according to Tom Izzo, and 17 offensive rebounds prove it. In a game where Melo Trimble did his thing, scoring 24 points, he didn’t get much in the way of help. The Terps fell 74-65 for their third loss of the year.

Shooting at the Breslin Center was as cold as outside Xfinity Center

After the under-8 timeout of the first half, Maryland was shooting 31.6 percent (6 of 19) and the Spartans were not any better at 28.6 percent (6 of 21). Before both teams ended the half by trading 3-balls, they had combined for just five makes in 24 attempts. Things got better at the end of the half with both teams over 35 percent shooting, but Mark Turgeon was not happy with his team’s consistent acceptance in settling for jump shots. If you take Melo Trimble out of the equation, who started the game 1 of 5 from beyond the arc, Maryland shot a miserable 28.6 percent from the field (6 of 21).

Terps rebounding continues to be a problem

It 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 the game. In the first half, the Spartans had ELEVEN. Luckily for the Terps, they had only converted their first 10 into a mere three second-chance points. Michigan State finished with 17 offensive rebound and the last one prevented Maryland from the chance of tying the game with a three with less than 30 seconds to play.

Maryland comes out of halftime on a mission, but Michigan State responds

Whatever Mark Turgeon told his squad in the locker room, it worked. Maryland blitzed the Spartans with 17 points before the under-16 minute timeout. After trading shots to start, the Terps rattled off a 12-2 run as they continued to started to head up from beyond the arc by hitting four straight. The Terrapins were able to take their first lead of the game, 46-42, before forcing a timeout from Tom Izzo. That was the turning point that allowed the Spartans to retake the lead with an 8-0 run. They followed that up with another run of the 7-0 variety after the Terps had tied the game at 53. A four-minute scoring drought from Maryland did not help.

The cold spell strikes again at the worst possible time

Maryland started the second half with six consecutive made field goals. They finished the half a miserable 5 of 21 (23.9 percent). Michigan State finished the game just 36.1 percent but had much of their offense from 29 free throw attempts, compared to just 16 for Maryland. Without a supporting case for Melo Trimble the Terrapins had no chance when the Spartans were getting 25 points from Bryn Forbes, who broke out of his slump. Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman combined for just four made field goals on 20 attempts and when Diamond Stone makes one bucket that is not going to cut it.

Matt Costello was a thorn in the Terps hopes of an elite win

Yes, Bryn Forbes and Denzel Valentine combined for 44 points, but it was Matt Costello that was the biggest reason for Maryland’s demise. Costello had 15 points and 12 rebounds, which will not blow anybody out of the water. But consider how he had six offensive rebounds, the last of which was the dagger, three killer blocks, and two back breaking steals. His overzealous emotion at the end of the game was too much, considered how many times he should have been called for multiple fouls during the course of the game, but he single-handedly ran the Terps out of the building.

Things will not get any easier for Maryland as they will have to take on the No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday in what will easily be the hardest two-game stretch for them all year. The good news for the Terps is that they will have their 24-game home winning streak and Xfinity Center faithful behind their back for a 7 p.m. tip 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.

Trackbacks

  1. […] already lost to North Carolina and Michigan State, the Maryland Terrapins are running out of chances to put a win against an elite team on their […]

  2. […] Park against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Terps are on a two-game skid on the road: Michigan and Michigan State. Maryland had a strong showing at the end of the first half, but a cold stretch to start the second […]

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