Silent night from free throw line leaves Maryland getting roasted on an open fire 73-70 against Purdue
Maryland entered the holiday hoping to find their form away from the Xfinity Center, but they only found poor first half shooting as the Terps fell 73 – 70 at Mackey Complex in Indiana despite being down fifteen early and crawling back to a tied game with less than a minute to play.
This is only the second time Maryland has played on Christmas day, previously playing Iowa in Hawaii for the Rainbow Classic where they won in overtime 70 – 68.
Trevion Williams was kept off track after Maryland’s coach Mark Turgeon conducted Galin Smith and Choal Marial to change his course on the offensive end, but Matt Painter was gifted a wonderful performance by Eric Hunter Junior (16 points) and the Boilermakers were able to withstand the late pressure to find victory.
Aaron Wiggins was able to strike the Purdue defense for sixteen points, but baby it was cold form the free throw line in the Mackey Complex for Maryland as they shot 10-of-21 as a team.
Mark Turgeon tried to galvanize the offense by starting a smaller lineup but after an easy basket directly on the opening possession, Galin Smith was quickly brought into the game to disrupt Williams. Maryland fought hard and brought intensity throughout the game but mishandled passes, turnovers, and missed open looks gave Purdue an early 9-2 start. Chol Marial clocked into the game and gave Trevion Williams some early trouble and the Terps were able to get Williams second foul of the game with 14:35 to play in the first half.
Maryland pressed the Purdue defense and were able to force early turnovers, but the Terps continued to miss open shots, including Chol Marial’s first three point attempts. After several long rebounds, Purdue was able to take the game off the rails and find their team raised by double digits 19 – 8 forcing Maryland to call a timeout. After the timeout, Purdue continued to pound the Terps from distance hitting four three’s in a matter of only a few minutes.
Maryland could not seem to make a shot in the first half. Even when they were at the free throw line, the Terps shot 2-of-10 to start the game while Purdue connected on 7-of-10 from beyond the arc late in the first half.
Coming out of halftime, Maryland reached into its stocking and found some offense that brought comfort and joy to Mark Turgeon as the Terps opened with a 13 – 1 run to bring the game within one point. Reese Mona sparked the Terps on both ends of the floor by saving turnovers, extending plays, and finding an open three.
While Purdue would extend their lead, Maryland continued to battle back and Donta Scott who was held scoreless in the first half would find several open looks from range and get to the free throw line to pull the Terps within a possession of the lead with less than four minutes to play.
The comeback attempt fell short as Maryland yet again missed late free throws to tie the game and the Terps were not able to complete their holiday miracle.
Maryland will play #9 Wisconsin, 7:00 Monday in Madison.