COLLEGE PARK – The first day of the New Year was not kind to the Maryland men’s basketball team. The Terps wasted a 13-point second half lead, along with career highs in points (26) and three-pointers (7) from freshman Kevin Huerter, as Nebraska went on a 14-0 run in the final minutes to stun Maryland, […]
COLLEGE PARK – The first day of the New Year was not kind to the Maryland men’s basketball team.
The Terps wasted a 13-point second half lead, along with career highs in points (26) and three-pointers (7) from freshman Kevin Huerter, as Nebraska went on a 14-0 run in the final minutes to stun Maryland, 67-65. Maryland went 0-from-the-floor in the final six minutes and watched as the 17-0 run it used to build a 60-47 lead evaporated into the XFinity Center air.
“I thought we played a terrific first 16 minutes of the second half,” said Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon. “We weren’t great the first half. We missed a lot of bunnies, but I thought in the second half we executed, we defended and built a 13-point lead and felt pretty comfortable.
“You could kind of feel it. I told the guys at the 7:30 timeout that we have to knock these guys out; they will keep coming. And we didn’t knock them out. We just needed one play. We just needed to score once or get a stop once and we couldn’t do it.”
The Cornhuskers’ Tai Webster converted on a baseline layup and made 1-of-2 free throws on the following possession to give his team a two-point lead with 14 seconds remaining. Maryland got a good look on the ensuing possession as Anthony Cowan kicked the ball out to Melo Trimble for a wide open triple. However, the Terps’ leading scorer shockingly air-balled the shot. Fortunately the Terps got another chance as the ball went out of bounds off a Nebraska player, but Trimble again came up short on a last second prayer.
“We ran a little something different to try and get our best player an open three,” Turgeon said. “Anthony made a good play. Everybody executed their part. We just didn’t get it. Then we got another chance, but we didn’t execute the last play well at all.”
The story of the first 36 minutes was Huerter. New York’s Mr. Basketball was on fire for the majority of the afternoon as he connected on 7-of-11 three-point attempts on his way to 26 points. He, along with Trimble (14 points), were the only Terps to finish with more than seven points.
“It felt good during the game but it definitely doesn’t feel good right now,” Huerter said. “Winning is all that matters. Winning cures everything. If you don’t win, it doesn’t really matter.”
The story of the final four minutes was Maryland’s inability to score and keep Nebraska at bay. The Terps went cold from the field, 0-for-9 to be exact, in the final 6:37. Four of those misses were layups. Meanwhile, the Huskers converted on free throws and had Webster (18 points) score on three layups in the final 2:29 to bring his team all the way back. Glynn Watson, Jr. (17 points) and Michael Jacobson (10 points) also helped out in the win.
“It was a really critical win,” said Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles. “You don’t get it without ‘buy in,’ and these guys have bought into each other. A lot of guys didn’t have their best game, but they are a tough-minded team. They practice hard and they play hard and stay with it. And that was the thing today – to not freak out and stay with it.”
For Maryland, Trimble said the team must move on quickly.
“(Nebraska) did a good job of capitalizing on our misses,” he said. “It was unfortunate we weren’t able to tie or go up at the end because so far we’ve been able to do that this season. We weren’t able to do it today. That’s basketball. We just have to learn from it, go to practice, get better and get ready for our next opponent.”
Maryland (13-2) now faces a tough stretch. The Terps will travel to Michigan, Illinois and Iowa, and host No. 16 Indiana, within the next four games.