Terps fail to keep pace with #1 ranked Spartans in 91-61 loss

After picking up a solid win over Penn State on Tuesday, Maryland was faced with their biggest matchup of the season. The only problem is they had just two days to prepare. The Terps traveled to East Lansing on Thursday and got blown out by the #1 ranked Michigan State Spartans 91-61.

It’s almost crazy to think how fast the game fell apart for Maryland. With six minutes to play in the first half, the two Big Ten teams were tied at 29 points. The Terps came out of the gate fast and matched the Spartans intensity by hitting eight of their first ten shots. Kevin Huerter was the key to this hot start and ended up scoring 14 points in the first half.

Despite getting off to an amazing start, Maryland could not keep Michigan State down. The Spartans enjoyed an insane three-point shooting percentage in the first half, going 10-16 and scoring 30 or their first 44 points from beyond the arc.

Once the Spartans started to create some separation it was over for this inexperienced Maryland team. Michigan State finished the half with a 15-3 run to take a 44-29 lead the break.

The Terps came into this game as an extreme underdog for many reasons. One of those being the fact that Michigan State has a lot of depth and the Terps don’t after their recent injuries. This became evident as the Spartans started to pull away. Mark Turgeon’s team looked gassed and were just trying to make it to the half.

The problem is, Maryland came out of the break looking just as uninspired. Michigan State is the number one team in the country for a reason, but the Terps didn’t show much of an effort to change their game plan. Both Anthony Cowan and Huerter looked very confident at times but they couldn’t get the ball inside to mix up the offensive attack. This forced the perimeter players to throw up way too many contested three pointers while the game slipped away.

To harp on the depth issues, Both Bruno Fernando and Michael Cekovsky had four fouls a piece before the mid-way point in the second half. This made them absolutely non-existent for the remainder of the game and they finished with seven and two points respectively. With no one to substitute, Maryland just couldn’t keep pace with a very fast and fluid Spartan team.

Just to emphasize how dominate Michigan State was, four players finished the night with double-digit scoring. Miles Bridges has been a monster for the Spartans this season and he put on a show Thursday night with 15 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds.

Michigan State also came very close to scoring 100 points in their fifth straight game. However, the previous four games were against non-conference pushovers like Houston Baptist and Long Beach State. I will let you decide what that says about Maryland. The Spartans have scored less than 80 points in just four games this season.

You can’t help but feel disappointing in this Maryland team. I know that they had a slim chance to defeat the best team in the country on two days rest but after their hot start, the second half was just torture to watch. The Terps will have a chance to bounce back on Sunday as they rerun home to host Iowa. The Hawkeyes are really struggling this season with a 9-8 record (0-4 in Big Ten) that puts them at the bottom of the conference.

Image Credit: Rey Del Rio / Getty Images

Advertisements

Trimble’s game winner pushes Maryland past Michigan State, 63-60

Maryland closed out the regular season on Saturday with a 63-60 win over Michigan State. Melo Trimble’s late game three-pointer also secured the #3 seed for the Terps in next weeks Big Ten conference tournament.

Both teams played poorly in the first half but with an extremely fast pace. The 28-27 halftime score favored the Spartans, but also showed how many missed opportunities there were for both teams. Maryland shot an abysmal 3-13 from beyond the arc in the first half. Michigan State was much better from three, shooting 50%, but had a low overall shooting percentage of 33%.

Maryland’s leading scorers at halftime were Anthony Cowan and Melo Trimble with six points each. With the three point shooting not falling through, the Terps were able to stay in the game by shooting 6-8 at the free throw line. The Spartans did not shoot any free throws in the first half.

The second half started with some more bricked three’s for Maryland but the offensive rebounding by Dodd and Jackson kept the Terps’ possessions alive and the score close.

Just a few moments later, Anthony Cowan drove to the basket against some tough defense to take back the lead. On the next Maryland possession, Kevin Huerter scored his first points of the game with a big three pointer, bringing the crowd back into the game. Trimble followed with a three of his own and gave the Terps their biggest lead of the afternoon.

Michigan State responded and quickly erased Maryland’s eight point lead at the 10 minute mark. Throughout the entire game, both teams got hot and cold at the same time, causing the score to be tight all afternoon. Neither team was able to pull away for too long. One of these cold streaks came during the final minutes of the game when both teams were tied at 60. Each team had a handful of chances to take the lead but could not score. Layups, jumpers, three pointers, and free throws were all attempted but nothing fell through.

With six seconds to play, Maryland had one last chance to win. The ball was inbounded to Melo Trimble, who raced down the court and put up a desperation three pointer. The shot went through and the Xfinity Center exploded.

After looking at the replay, the refs put one second back on the clock, giving Michigan State a chance to send it to overtime. The Spartans inbound pass was perfect and allowed Miles Bridges to get a clean shot off but the ball hit the front of the rim and the Terps’ celebration resumed.

Trimble finished with 16 points and six rebounds. Since his freshman year there have been many rumors that Trimble would declare for the NBA draft. The rumors have not been as loud this season but the senior day festivities combined with the game-winning shot put everyone in a different mood. The student section chanted “one more year” as Melo left the court, hoping this would not be his final game in College Park.

This win gives Maryland the #3 seed in the Big Ten tournament next week. The Terps will get some much needed rest since they won’t be playing until next Friday. With the tournament being held just a few miles down the road from the University of Maryland, the team can take even more time to prepare instead of traveling.