Maryland basketball found itself up one with 30 seconds left against Northwestern Wednesday, but Boo Buie’s floater on the other end gave the Wildcats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Here are some takeaways from the Terps defeat, a result which failed to continue momentum from their win at Illinois.
Jahmir Young continued his All-American-caliber season
Young needs some help.
Once again, the Big Ten’s best guard put forth a special performance, scoring 36 of the team’s 69 points — 28 of its 41 second-half points.
“[Northwestern head coach] Chris [Collins] and I are very similar. I don’t run nearly as many plays as Chris does, but I’ve got Jahmir,” Maryland coach Kevin Willard said.”
Young has now scored at least 20 points in six of seven games, including herculean efforts against UCLA and Illinois to help will the Terps to road victories.
But when his supporting cast fails to contribute, with only three others scoring Wednesday, Maryland won’t win many games.
Fellow guards DeShawn Harris-Smith and Jahari Long only managed a combined one rebound and two assists, while Julian Reese and Donta scott — after a strong first half — scored just nine points together in the final 20 minutes.
Young is averaging 20.8 points on the season, which ranks No. 11 in the country. The fifth-year guard is on pace to crack into the top 10 in program history for points per game in a single season, tying Joe Smith’s mark of also 20.8 points per game.
Maryland’s bench was non-existent
To have only four players score on the road is a recipe for failure, and it cost the Terps Wednesday.
Scott and Reese dealt with a bit of foul trouble, too, so guys like Noah Batchelor and Caelum Swanton-Rodger played meaningful minutes.
Young, Reese, Scott and Geronimo were the only Terps to find the bottom of the hoop, with Harris-Smith notably failing to register a point or assist.
“We struggled a little bit, because Jahari hasn’t practiced, we’ve been playing Jahmir off the two-guard spot with Deshawn playing the point guard spot,” Willard said. “Deshawn gets in foul trouble and all of a sudden, some of our playbook got taken out and we had to go a little bit more one-on-one isolations.”
Northwestern, meanwhile, leaned on its bench to the tune of 15 points. Nine of those came in the second half.
Turnovers and free-throw shooting hurt the Terps
Maryland committed 10 turnovers in the first half, which Northwestern turned into nine points. Northwestern committed just three turnovers in the half.
In the second half, the Terps went 13-of-18 from the line. The Wildcats made 16-of-20 attempts, including four in a row down the stretch.
Said Willard: “We had our chances in the second half, we missed free throws in the second half... execution down the stretch was just not good.”
Specifically, it was a tough outing in these areas for Reese, who committed a game-high six turnovers and missed three of his five attempts from the line.
In the end, the home team played a cleaner brand of basketball, while the Terps found ways to lose the game.