The No. 14 Maryland men's basketball team beat Michigan State, 75-59, before a sellout crowd of 17,950 at XFINITY Center on Saturday evening, riding a couple of fine individual efforts to a fifth Big Ten win.
Melo Trimble and Jake Layman, the Terrapins' finest players all season, each delivered stirring performances. Together, they lifted Maryland (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) to a second triumph over Tom Izzo's Spartans in the Terps' most exciting win of the season. Trimble carried the Terps offensively, and Layman's two-way play was critical.
Trimble scored 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting, while Layman had 23 and 12 rebounds. Trimble made six of 11 three-pointers, while Layman was 11-of-12 from the foul line. As a team, Maryland shot 43 percent from the field and 52 percent on three-pointers. The Spartans struggled to make shots, connecting on just three of their 17 tries from deep, even as they shot competitively with Maryland otherwise.
Trimble and Layman have been crucial all year, never more so than during each man's dominant first half. Trimble essentially turned the game's difficulty level to "beginner" and drained five of seven first-half three-pointers, while Layman had 13 points and 6 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. The two combined for 34 of Maryland's 40 first-half points, opening up a 14-point lead the Terrapins' would never relinquish. Both players were at the height of their abilities, and it was something to watch.
Maryland played a sturdy second half, even as the offensive fireworks of the first half subsided. The Terps kept Michigan State at arm's length all the way through, with productive foul shooting providing continual insurance down the stretch. For Mark Turgeon's team, it was another major victory.
Maryland's box score:
Three things we learned
1. Melo Trimble took over. One of college basketball's premier guards plays his home games in College Park. Against a stout Michigan State defense, Trimble exploded in the first half, scoring points and threatening offensively on virtually every possession where he touched the ball. He scored from the outside and inside, on the drive and spotting up. He was legitimately unstoppable, and Maryland opened up a sturdy lead as a result of his efforts. Trimble didn't have a single rebound or assist, and he set Michigan State on fire anyway. I mean, just look at what he did to Michigan State's Lourawls Nairn at the end of the half. This is mean:
2. Jake Layman was quietly dominant, too. While Trimble was setting XFINITY Center ablaze with scoring brilliance, Layman was steadily running up gaudy point and rebound totals while limiting Michigan State's offense. Layman finished with an evenly spread-out 23 points and 12 rebounds. Meanwhile, the Spartans' Branden Dawson (Layman's primary defensive matchup), finished with a tame 14 points on 12 field goal attempts. Layman was crucial at both ends.
3. The Terps did their damage at the foul line and three-point line. Maryland's been effective at getting to the line and hitting free throws all year. The team's three-point efficiency has been more up-and-down, but both were at a crescendo on Saturday. The Terps shot 20-of-22 on free throws and 11-of-21 on three-pointers, accounting for a whopping 53 points from those two areas alone. To the contrary, Michigan State was a ghastly 3-of-17 on threes and 4-of-13 on foul shots.
Shot-making can take a team a long way. On Saturday, it took the Terps to a convincing, resounding home win.