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Purdue rallies to top Terps 73-72

Melo Trimble scored 22 points, but was held to only 4-for-15 shooting from the floor.

Junior guard Melo Trimble scored 22 points, but the magic he usually has just wasn’t there on Saturday afternoon as the No. 17 Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team suffered a 73-72 loss to the No. 23 Purdue Boilermakers at XFINITY Center.

Maryland had a double-digit lead on Purdue in the second half but the Boilermakers rallied to win the game and scored the final four points of the game to secure the victory. Purdue was the first ranked team Maryland played this season.

“This one hurts. We played well enough to win,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “I’m really proud of my group. We allowed them to beat us at the foul line. We just had some silly fouls that allowed them to beat us at the foul line. Give them credit. We guarded them, they’re so hard to guard. … We battled. Just came up short. We’re used to winning close games, not used to losing. Today we just couldn’t get that last stop.”

With 56 seconds remaining in the game Trimble sunk two free throws to give Maryland a 72-69 lead. Isaac Haas matched those points with two makes of his own but with the clock winding down Trimble moved inside the arc, pulled up for what could have been the victory-sealing shot, but this time he didn’t get the roll.

Maryland was still a point, however, down at the other end of the court Purdue guard Carsen Edwards sprinted to the hoop from the right side of the paint. His shot did not fall but he drew a foul. With just two seconds left he hit both free throws to give Purdue the 73-72 lead.

The Terps still had a bit of hope, even after their long in-bound pass was plucked out of the air by Isaac Haas. Figuring the game was over, the Boilermaker center took a few steps to hand the ball to the official, but since the buzzer did not sound he was called to the travel.

That gave Maryland a chance for one last shot with the inbound coming from under their own basket. The Terps set up the play they wanted and a screen got sharp-shooting freshman wing Kevin Huerter wide open outside the 3-point arc from the right side, but his catch-and-shoot attempt skimmed off the backside of the rim.

“That was the play that was drawn up, for me to get a shot, and before I knew it I had to get it off quick,” Huerter said. “Me thinking about it right now, I’m not made that I missed. I didn’t shoot it the way that I wanted to. It didn’t feel like the shots throughout the rest of the game.”

Maryland shot under 40-percent for the game and was held to only 21.1-percent from 3-point range in the game. Huerter made three 3-pointers in his 11-point effort while Michal Cekovsky scored 10 in the game. Trimble did most of his damage with a 14-for-15 effort from the foul line but was held to only 4-for-15 shooting from the floor. The Terps final 14 points were all scored from the foul line. Trimble hit 11 of those free throws.

“They were great defensively and we couldn’t make a jump shot,” Turgeon said. “They zoned up on the point guard and did a nice job. We didn’t make shots. They were setting on a lot of our plays. They scouted us well.”

Maryland jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the game before the Boilermakers scored six in a row to get within three points. The rest of the first half was closely contested. Every time Maryland looked to be gaining come momentum the Boilermakers hit a 3-pointer to keep things close.

At halftime, the Terps had a 36-34 lead. Early in the second half they were able to build on that lead with an eight-point run, capped off by a dunk by Huerter. But a stretch of 3-pointers got Purdue right back in the game. Ryan Cline and Dakota Mathias nailed back-to-back three’s and sparked a quick 11-point run. Caleb Swanigan also hit a jumper in the run before Cline hit another 3-pointer to make it a 52-51 game with 9:52 left in the second half.

“They were making shots, and we were making stops, but when we were getting into transition we just weren’t making good decisions,” senior center Damonte Dodd said. “They executed their plays at a high level, so I think that was the biggest problem, we just didn’t take good shots.”

After that, neither team would get more than a five-point lead. There were four ties and five lead changes, but the Terps wouldn’t make another field goal after Cekovsky threw down a dunk with 7:37 remaining in the game to give the Terps a 58-55 lead. The 14 free throws just weren’t enough to hold off Purdue.

Swanigan led Purdue with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Edwards and Mathias each scored 12 points for Purdue.

Maryland will look to bounce-back from just their third loss of the season on Tuesday at Penn State. Maryland is a perfect 6-0 on the road this year.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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