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Maryland men’s basketball’s miraculous road effort falls just short at No. 3 Purdue, 62-61

Donta Scott missed the go-ahead layup try in the final seconds.

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With seven seconds remaining, Maryland men’s basketball was down by one point against No. 3 Purdue. After a Purdue inbounds turnover under the basket, Maryland had the chance to walk away from West Lafayette, Indiana with the upset victory.

Graduate guard Fatts Russell inbounded the ball to forward Donta Scott who went up for the layup but could not find the basket as he was double-teamed and the clock ticked down to zero, erasing Maryland’s final upset hopes.

Maryland fought throughout the entirety of the matchup, led by Russell who finished the game with 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals but fell just short as the Boilermakers defeated the Terps, 62-61. With the loss, the Terps drop to 11-14 on the season and 3-11 in conference play.

“We didn’t get the outcome that we wanted,” interim head coach Danny Manning said. “But that effort and moxie gave us the chance to compete with one of the better teams in the country. I thought Donta got fouled. I have to go back and look at it but from the first one I saw, I thought there was some contact.”

After trailing 4-0 to start the game, Maryland tightened up its defense and kicked things up a notch offensively. With about 16 minutes to go, Maryland was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field including two threes from Russell converting into a 10-0 run for the Terps.

The Boilermakers snapped their drought and brought the game within one point with a deep shot. Scott didn’t let that shake the Terps responding with a three-point basket while Purdue double-teamed him and the shot clock ticked down to its final seconds.

About halfway through the first half, Maryland was shooting 60% from the field and held Purdue to 38%. At that point, the Terps also held onto the rebounding advantage, 7-5.

As the first frame continued, Purdue came close to taking the lead and although they hit four consecutive field goal attempts, it had three turnovers in about two and a half minutes to lead to another scoreless stretch opening the door for Maryland to make it a three-point game before the Boilermakers brought it within one.

However, with five and a half minutes until halftime, Maryland did not relinquish its lead forcing turnovers and continued to steadily build its score each time Purdue came close to taking it away.

However, with two minutes to go, Jaden Ivey drove into the paint searching for his first points of the day and drew a foul with Maryland up by one. The guard missed both shots from the free-throw line and Maryland then turned the ball over under the basket.

Purdue moved the ball up the court quickly and forward Trevion Williams sank the layup giving the Boilermakers its first lead since less than two minutes into the game.

With two seconds remaining in the first half, the officials gave Russell a technical foul as the Terps were inbounding the ball so the Terps went into the locker room down by three points.

In the opening seconds of the second half, center Qudus Wahab tied the game at 26 with a layup and free throw.

Maryland quickly kept continuing to bring the pressure extending its lead to five while forcing Purdue to take difficult shots. Back-to-back buckets from graduate guard Fatts Russell gave Maryland a nine-point lead as Russell brought his point total up to a game-high 14 points.

“Fans and coaches are gonna see a lot more fight from us,” Scott said. “Because I feel like the guys, we are happier when we see fight in each other. When we see fight in one person it just trickles down to another person and just makes the other person want to pick up and battle with that guy.”

Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic hit a shot from behind the arc but the Terps were determined to not let off the gas.

With 12 and a half minutes remaining, the Terps had hit eight of their last 10 attempted field goals including the final three consecutive ones.

It was not until there were a little over 13 minutes remaining that Ivey collected his first points of the day and he did so with a shot from deep but Maryland was absolutely relentless building as large as a 12-point lead.

As much as Russell was playing hero for the Terps, Stefanovic was doing so for Purdue. He sparked a 10-0 run for the Boilermakers and Stefanovic struck again from deep to take the lead with eight minutes to go.

“Stefanovic— he got rolling,” Russell said. “We lost him a couple times, got him in a rhythm.”

The teams then continued to trade baskets as the lead kept switching with about five minutes to go.

With 30 seconds to go, the game was tied at 59 points apiece thanks to a layup at the 28-second mark from Russell. With 16 seconds remaining guard Jaden Ivey sank a layup and drew a foul to make it a three-point game in the final moments and the Boilermakers ended up holding onto the lead to close out the Terps.

Three things to know

1. The Terps were without Eric Ayala. The Terps were without senior guard Eric Ayala Sunday afternoon. Ayala leads the Terps with 15.1 points per game. The program announced that he would not start shortly ahead of this matchup and then a team spokesperson said that he was inactive due to a wrist injury.

“We’ll get some some tests run and we’ll make sure that we can give him peace of mind with the evaluation, the medical evaluation, and we’ll go from there,” Manning said.

2. Maryland’s struggles with closing out the first half continue. After holding the lead in West Lafayette for the majority of the first 20 minutes, the Terps gave it away with less than two minutes remaining in the opening half. The Terps had a lead as large as six but couldn’t find a way to hold on walking into the locker room down. Maryland had the chance to retake the lead with the last basket but Russell got called for the technical foul and Stefanovic hit both attempts at the line to extend Purdue’s late lead. The Terps allowed Purdue to go on a 7-0 run and hit just one of their last eight attempted field goals in the half.

3. The Terps made a big defensive shift from their last matchup. Coming into this game, the Boilermakers were the No. 5 scoring offense in the country averaging 83.4 points per game. Purdue’s field goal percentage was third in the nation at 50.55%. After Iowa poured 110 points on the Terps at home, it seems Maryland was determined to make a flip and play stronger defense. In the first half, Maryland allowed just 26 points with this top-five offense and forced the Boilermakers to shoot 40.7% from the field and 22.2% from deep. Purdue finished the game shooting at a 44% clip and making just 62 points.

Ivey leads the Boilermakers in scoring, averaging 17.7 points per game. However, after the first half, he was on track not to meet that. He had zero points while shooting 0-for-4 from the field including missed two from deep and also missed two free-throw attempts in his 16 minutes on the court. In the second half, Ivey found his offensive footing tallying 11 total points including the late basket.

“Last game we played Iowa,” Russell said. “The level of intensity wasn’t there. Our coaches got on us real hard and... we came out here and we fought today, I’m proud of my guys.”