The Maryland basketball team gave it all they had against Purdue due to a late rally.
Unfortunately, the Terps still fell 83-79 on Saturday.
Down ten, with just under four minutes left in the game, the Terps looked like they were down and out. Out of the TV timeout, Maryland ramped up the pressure with a full court press and created some turnovers and tied the game at 76-76.
However, it was too little too late. The Terps put themselves in a hole from the start, trailing 8-24 with 12:37 left in the first half. Unfortunately it has been the same issues for Maryland all season.
Their inability to rebound on the defensive end has hurt them all season and hurt them once again today. Purdue grabbed a defensive rebound on 19 of their 29 missed field goal attempts. They outrebounded Maryland 41-22 overall on the glass.
The rebounding needs to improve, plain and simple. Surrendering extra possessions is not only demoralizing but is unacceptable for a team with as much size as Maryland has.
On a positive note, guard Melo Trimble finished with a team-high 19 points on 4-12 shooting from the field. He made a clutch three-pointer late to pull the Terps within two at 76-74, but still struggled to knock down the open jumper in the first half. Trimble ran the pick and roll with Stone more effectively than we have seen as of late too. Trimble also cut down on his turnovers and finished with just two.
Another positive to take away, forward Jared Nickens has appeared to find his shooting stroke again as he finished in double figures with ten points off the bench and hit 3-5 from beyond the arc. He was the only Terp off the bench to score as Damonte Dodd, Michal Cekovsky, and Jaylen Brantley played a combined eight minutes, shot 0-2 from the field, and committed a combined five fouls. It appears the previous game vs. Michigan where the bench provided scoring and energy was a mere fluke and was not able to carry over to the next.
An issue for the Terps all season has been turnovers, but against Purdue, the Terps only committed six. Unfortunately, as has been the story all season with this team, they have yet to play an all-around consistent forty minutes of basketball.
Losing on the road at Purdue, who is ranked 20th in the country is not a “bad” loss to put on Maryland’s resume by any means. Any road win in any conference is tough to get. It is just that Maryland fans got their hopes up after Iowa’s loss earlier this week opened the door for the Terps to control their own destiny in the regular season title race.
Maryland showed fight at the end when they were down ten with their backs against the wall. They played with urgency and took advantage of the fact that Purdue committed some costly turnovers late under pressure.
Positives to take away from this game, Maryland cleaned up their turnovers, Nickens has found his shooting form, and Maryland was able to claw back into the game several times after falling behind double digits.
Negatives to take away from this game, Maryland is still getting pummeled on the glass, start games slow and look flat at times. Frankly, the Terps are an inconsistent team and have the talent and potential to make a deep run in March. Or they could show up flat and lose first round in the Big Dance.
The next game for Maryland is the home finale against Illinois on Thursday, March 3.