The Maryland basketball team suffered its most disappointing loss of the season on Sunday afternoon.
Maryland opened 2017 with a 67-65 loss at the hands of Nebraska. The Terrapins didn’t score a single point over the final six minutes of the game.
Let’s look back at some positives negatives to ponder over the next week.
1.) Kevin Huerter has career day
This was easily the biggest positive storyline from Sunday.
Huerter finished with a career high 26 points (9-of-17 shooting), including 7-of-11 from deep. In the first half, Huerter single-handedly kept the Terps in the game and appeared to be Maryland’s only offense at times.
Huerter exploded on the offensive end and was finally able to get open looks to knock down his shots. He has struggled to get open looks earlier throughout the season, so this was a huge performance.
Huerter didn’t just contribute shooting the ball, but he also finished the game with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Throughout the 2016 season, Huerter has found ways to contribute even when his shot is not falling. On Sunday, he was able to put it all together and I would expect him to have another offensive outburst in a conference game in the near future.
2.) Damonte Dodd returns
Dodd made his return to the court after missing the last five games.
This was a positive sign for the Terps to get one center back healthy enough to play as Michal Cekovsky is still out nursing an injury.
It was evident that Dodd was still not at full strength, but he finished with six points and four rebounds off the bench in 13 minutes. The Terps will need Dodd’s rim protection as they get into the thick of conference play, where they’ll face teams with bigger bodies down low such as Purdue.
3.) Jared Nickens didn’t miss a shot
Yes, you read that right.
Nickens didn’t miss a shot in the game as he finished 1-of-1 from deep for three points. I am a tough critique of Nickens, so I felt the need to write a note that he finished a game without a missed three-point attempt with a make as well.
Now onto some concerns.
1.) Turnovers plague the Terps again
All five of Maryland’s starters finished the game with at least two turnovers.
That is not a recipe for success. As a team the Terps committed 16 turnovers.
Maryland possessed the ball to start the second half trailing by four and saw their opportunity to get a good shot attempt off squandered. Justin Jackson threw an ill-advised pass right to the Cornhuskers.
This was one of many critical giveaways that the Terps had during Sunday’s game.
At this point in the season, conference play will consist of almost every game being close. It will be critical that the Terps maximize each possession and limit their turnovers in order to be a successful team.
2.) Scoring droughts
Maryland finished the last eight minutes of the game scoring just five points.
The Terps were scoreless the last 6:02 of the game.
Maryland had built a 12-point lead of 65-53 with six minutes to go and squandered the lead down the stretch by failing to score. That is what makes this loss even harder to fathom for Terps fans.
The Terps desperately needed to win this game, especially with a considerable lead like this. Maryland has failed to put together two strong halves of basketball in the same game on many occasions this year.
The Nebraska game was no different as in spurts the Terps looked great and others, they looked dreadful. The inconsistency is certainly concerning as Big Ten play is now in full swing.
Hopefully Maryland basketball can rebound (pun intended) Saturday and get back in the win column when they travel to play Michigan.