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Maryland finds a way to win against Michigan State, helps ease pain from 2010 loss

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Despite offensive struggles, Damonte Dodd being incorrectly disqualified, and a raucous road environment, Maryland found a way to pull out a win in their first ever Big Ten conference game, helping to ease the bad memories from their last game against Michigan State.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Every Maryland fan remembers Korie Lucious' shot that knocked Maryland out of the 2010 NCAA Tournament: Tom Izzo almost calling timeout; the pass to Lucious before the shot almost hitting the head of another MSU player; Landon Milbourne playing just a little too far back to really contest the shot.  The careers of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne ended with such abruptness, it was hard to really grasp the full impact of what had just happened when Lucious' shot swished through the net as time expired. Years later, that shot still makes Maryland fans cringe, especially now, knowing that was former head coach Gary Williams' last NCAA tournament team and best chance to get back to the Final Four one more time before retiring.

Memories of that game were certainly on the minds of many Tuesday, when the Terps traveled to East Lansing to take on Tom Izzo's Spartans in Maryland's first ever Big Ten conference basketball game. Would a win against MSU help to finally put those horrible memories from 2010 to bed?

As the game unfolded, both teams struggled to score. Maryland, who attempts over 25 free throws per game, failed to get to the line in the first half. They went just 1/11 from beyond the arc and shot just over 33% from the field. Despite those struggles, they found themselves with a three point lead after 20 minutes of basketball.

Throughout the early part of this season, Mark Turgeon and his players have done a good job adjusting their approach and getting the ball into the hands of someone who can step up and make plays that particular night.

"We couldn't make a jump shot," Turgeon said. "We had to score somehow so we needed to spread it out. We had to run some things we really hadn't done in practice."

As the second half unfolded, each team battled back and forth, trying to build a lead on a night when both teams struggled offensively. There were 13 lead changes over the course of what ended up being a 50 minute game, as well as eight ties. Maryland led by as many as eight in the first half, while the Spartans went up by as many as five with under five minutes to play in regulation. As the seconds clicked off the clock, you began to get that same feeling in your stomach from 2010. You tell yourself there is no way it can happen again, right?

Maryland was finally able to grab a lead after Damonte Dodd blocked a shot and then scored at the other end, giving Maryland a one point lead with 1:47 left. Michigan State's Travice Trice missed a three and Jon Graham secured the rebound. Timeout Maryland. Kill some clock, maybe draw a foul and then play defense. But coming out of the timeout, MSU steals the ball, makes a quick layup, and just like that, the tables are turned. Melo Trimble does what Maryland had started to do in the second half - gets to the free throw line. He makes one of two, and the game is tied at 45 with less than a minute to go.

"We finally figured it out" head coach Mark Turgeon said following his team's 68-66, double-overtime victory against Michigan State. "We got to the foul line." Maryland finished the game with 32 free throw attempts, all in the 2nd half and overtime periods.

Still, with the score tied, you can almost feel that gut punch coming.

Maryland is called for a foul and MSU heads to the line and makes both. After a missed Melo three point attempt, the Terps are forced to foul again. 11 seconds left. They make one. The Terps are down three. Will Izzo foul to prevent the 3?

Dez brings the ball up the court. Please make it. Please.

Sweet redemption. It didn't heal the scars from 2010, but it certainly helped ease the pain a bit.

"You have to give (Maryland senior guard/forward) Dez Wells credit," Michigan head coach Tom Izzo said following the game. "He missed a month. I don't know what he did, but it was a hand injury. You have to give him a lot of credit. I love guys that are warriors. He's diving on the floor with a broken wrist. A broken wrist on his right hand and he makes the big three. My hat goes off to him. I was really impressed by how hard he played, how much he played, and he's got some dog in him. That's as good a compliment as I can give a guy."

"Well, we had nothing going and I just kept telling our guys we’re going to play through Dez and we were going to play through Melo," Turgeon said. "We were going to take turns. One guy got tired and we would go through the other. That’s really all we had going."

As the first overtime unfolded, Maryland again found themselves down by two possessions with under two minutes to go. This time, Melo Trimble stepped up and hit a huge three, followed by two Dez Wells free throws. The score was tied once again. But Michigan State had the ball, with 14 seconds left. That feeling is back, again. Please don't let them do it again. Please.

Bryn Forbes' three is off the mark. Phew. Double Overtime.

This time, it was Maryland who went up by five, making 11 free throws in the second overtime. So when Travis Trice's three swished in with one second left, it didn't matter. Maryland had won. The win not only helped ease the pain of 2010, but showed once again that Maryland is a special team this season. They find ways to win instead of finding ways to lose. They can overcome one of their players being disqualified, despite only having four fouls.

"When Valentine got in foul trouble, we just didn't have the bodies," Izzo said. "We tried, but they kept rolling people in on us. They played one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 guys, 10 minutes or more, and we just struggled."

Depth was supposed to be a weakness for Maryland this year, following the transfer of five players last off-season. Instead, it's turned into a strength, as the Terps balance new blood with mature veterans. They keep finding ways to win. On Tuesday, they did it again. In the process, they not only picked up their first ever win in a Big Ten conference game,  but they helped relinquish the pain of a horrible loss almost five years ago.