After a hard-fought victory over Nebraska, the Maryland basketball team will host Purdue at the Xfinity Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Terrapins (20-3) have been playing really good basketball as of late. Maryland have won three straight games going into today’s matchup. In their last game against Nebraska, Maryland won 70-65 despite facing some adversity. The game was a close game throughout, but Maryland was able to break away in the final two minutes to escape with a strong victory.
Center Diamond Stone had a dominating performance, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Guard Melo Trimble scored 20 points in the win, and it was the second straight game where Trimble scored 20 points.
No. 18 Purdue started the 2015-16 campaign winning their first 11 games. Now they sit with a 7-3 record in the Big Ten and 19-4 overall. The Boilermakers is a big team, and have eight players that are 6’6 or taller.
Center A.J. Hammons, who stands at 7’0, is averaging 14.3 points-per-game, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. When Purdue played Nebraska on Jan. 30, Hammons had 32 points and 11 rebounds to lead his team to the win.
Freshman Caleb Swanigan is also having an impressive first year. The Boilermaker forward is averaging nine points and nine rebounds per game. Swanigan was Purdue’s top recruit last season as he was the No. 4 center in the 2015 class.
Sophomore Isaac Haas has shown strong signs of improvement. Last year, Haas averaged 7.6 points per game and didn’t give Purdue a whole lot offensively. During the 2015-16 season, he is averaging 10 points and four rebounds and has been very impressive.
Going into this game, Maryland is third in the Big Ten standings and a half game from the top spot which belongs to Indiana. On the other hand, Purdue is in fourth place in the conference.
The last time Maryland played Purdue was on January 10, 2015 when the Terps won 69-60. Jake Layman scored 14 points and added 8 rebounds. In that game the Terps defense held the Boilermakers to shoot 36.8 percent from the field and 5-of-20 from the three-point line.
In today’s game, Maryland needs to do is limit the turnovers. The Terps committed 25 turnovers in their last two games. Maryland will have a hard time today if they turn over the basketball at a high rate.
Maryland’s frontcourt will need to step their game when going against Purdue’s frontcourt. If they allow Hammons to perform the way he did against Nebraska, the Terps will have a hard time winning this game.
Rebounding may be the difference maker today. Purdue is a very solid rebounding team. They average 42.8 rebounds per game. The Boilermakers opponents normally get 30.5 rebounds per game. During this season, Maryland have struggled to rebound the basketball so it will be interesting what happens.
Purdue is a tough defensive team that will make Maryland fight for their shot. Teams average 62.6 points per game and shoot 38 percent from the floor when they play Purdue. With all that said, expect this game to be a hard-fought game for both teams.