Turtles in a half shelled, lose 61-55

Heading into Wednesday’s matchup against #10 Wisconsin, Maryland felt confident after coming off another impressive road victory and already beating Wisconsin in Madison earlier this season. However, the Terrapins would not be able to complete the second half comeback and would fall 61-55 to the Badgers.  

With all due respect to Maryland’s forwards, they struggled to defend the near the paint and Micah Potter was able to feast inside when the Badgers needed it most and led his team in both scoring (23) in and rebounding (12) against the Terps best efforts.  

The game was a tale of two halves with Wisconsin two points away from doubling up the Terps 38 – 20. Eric Ayala in particular struggled, finishing the game only 1-of-10 shooting. The Terps depth continues to struggle against top tier opponents. Five Terps ended the game with over thirty minutes of play and Jarius Hamilton contributed for another nineteen, but no other Terp had double figure minutes and only eight total players saw action in the loss. “We’ve just got to have more guys play better,” Turgeon said.  

The Terps still battled back in the game and they were able to cut down on the turnovers that have hobbled them for the majority of the season. They were plus 3 in the turnover margin and finished the game with only nine. “but, gah, three or four of them were just at the worst time for us,” Coach Mark Turgeon said, “so that makes it tough.” “I don’t think we played great,” Turgeon continued.  

As stated in previous articles, with the lack of a down low scoring option and facing NBA level forwards seemingly every night in the Big 10, Maryland will need to shoot well from beyond the arc to win games in conference, and the 30% the Terps shot tonight was below that margin including missing their first nine shots from three which seemingly caused the cardboard cutouts of Maryland’s fans to groan.  

“We missed open shots and we had a bad three-minute stretch before half and made a couple mistakes defensively in the second half, and that’s all they needed with an 18-point lead. But we battled till the end.” 

Maryland would battle in the second half and would outscore the Badgers 35-23. They witnessed their first two three-point attempts fall in the first half, sparking life back into the Terps. The Terps defense would make five consecutive stands on defense and the Terps would open the half on an 11-2 run.  

Aaron Wiggins would cut the lead to three points with just under twelve minutes to play and the Terps looked as if they could complete the miracle comeback. However, Wisconsin looked to the post in Potter who would cast Expelliarmus to disarm the Terps and also pour in nine consecutive points to put Wisconsin up by double digits once again.  

The deficit was just too much for the Terps to overcome and the legs seemed to lose pace with their Big 10 opponent. Aaron Wiggins “We lost a little bit of effort on the defensive end, and we began to go shot for shot with them instead of trying to get more stops and continuing to do it on the defensive end. Because when our offense isn’t going, our defense will keep us in the game.” 

Maryland remains winless at home this season against Big 10 opponents. They will look to reverse that trend Tuesday, February 2 at Xfinity Center against Purdue.  

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