The Maryland basketball team had more than their fair share of exciting moments throughout the 2016-17 season. With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at some of the most heart-pounding and important games that the Terrapins were involved in.
Setting the Scene
Maryland was a very young team as the season began and that was no secret to anybody in the college basketball world. The Terps started three true freshmen last season in Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, and Justin Jackson.
It was very clear early on that these three had what it takes to make the Terps a contender in the rugged Big Ten. In nonconference play, Maryland’s only blemish was a 73-59 loss at the hands of Pittsburgh in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Through the first three games of conference play, Maryland defeated Illinois and Michigan, but did suffer a tremendous collapse against Nebraska, resulting in a 67-65 loss. That’s why the Jan. 10 matchup against Indiana at the Xfinity Center was so important despite it being in the early portion of the conference slate.
This game offered redemption for Maryland after the Terps had dropped two of the last three meetings against Indiana. The two teams split the meetings during the 2014-15 season with each team winning the home contest.
During the 2015-16 campaign, Maryland fell to Indiana 80-62 in their meeting that season.
The first half was very close throughout and neither team was looking to give an inch. With 8:48 left in the opening stanza, forward Justin Jackson converted a layup to give Maryland a 21-14 lead, which was the largest advantage that either team had throughout the entire game.
Indiana did come back to tie the game at 34 with 2:17 left in the half courtesy of a James Blackmon Jr. layup. The first half ended with a buzz-beating layup from Melo Trimble in which he knifed his way throughout the entire Hoosier defense.
Trimble’s beautiful layup gave the Terps a 39-38 lead at the half.
It was a back-and-forth affair once again in the second half with Indiana leading by as many as five points along the way.
With 2:03 remaining in the game, Indiana’s Juwan Morgan connected on a pair of free throws to give the Hoosiers a 70-68 lead. That came after he grabbed a huge rebound on the defensive end and was fouled by Damonte Dodd.
Maryland had a knack for finding themselves in close games throughout the 2016-17 season. Prior to this one, the Terps were involved in seven games that were decided by six points or less.
Only one resulted in a loss, which came against Nebraska in a 67-65 defeat.
Just 13 seconds after Morgan hit those two free throws, Huerter stepped up and made his mark on the game. He splashed home a three-pointer to give Maryland a 71-70 advantage.
After an OG Anunoby runner didn’t go down, Huerter grabbed the defensive rebound and tossed ahead a beautiful outlet pass to Anthony Cowan. Cowan converted the layup despite Robert Johnson being right on his tail, which gave Maryland a 73-70 lead with 1:17 left.
With just 12 seconds left, Anunoby drove to the rim and threw down a thunderous to dunk to make it a one-point game.
Trimble ended up hitting a pair of free throws to push Maryland’s advantage to 75-72. Johnson had a chance to tie the game for the Hoosiers on a last-second three, but the shot clanked off the rim to clinch it for the Terps.
The win allowed Maryland to jump out to a 3-1 mark in Big Ten play, but it certainly wasn’t the last close-knit affair that they were involved in.