clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Maryland men’s basketball comes up short against Michigan State, 61-59

The Terps undid a halftime deficit but ultimately fell short in a crucial Big Ten contest.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men’s basketball got the stop it needed on the defensive end, but still needed a basket. With the ball in the hands of star guard Jahmir Young down just two points, anticipation built. The Terps had the ball right where they wanted it with just seconds remaining on the clock.

But as Young stepped near the 3-point line, Michigan State guard Tre Hollamon reached out poked the ball loose. Laying flat on his stomach, Young helplessly watched as the Spartans paraded onto the court to celebrate a 61-59 win in College Park on Sunday.

“You can call timeout, but you don’t want to call a timeout. You have a senior guard who you really depend on, you like, you have a lot of confidence in,” Maryland head coach Kevin Willard said postgame of his experienced point guard, who led all players with 19 points on Sunday. “That’s on me. Maybe I should have called a timeout.”

The Terps (11-8, 3-5 Big Ten) ultimately lost because of missed opportunities, moving to 0-5 in games decided by one possession. They turned the ball over 18 times, with Young contributing seven. After battling back from a 12-point halftime deficit, Maryland had ample chances but it couldn’t make the most of them despite allowing only 17 points in the final 20 minutes.

“We’ve had really bad turnovers, untimely turnovers, and it’s just not one person,” Willard said. “We have some guys that are at times trying to make a play, they’re trying to make something happen, which I like. ... But we’re hurting ourselves.”

Maryland should have considered itself lucky to only be down 12 at the break considering its immense offensive struggles. After a brief stretch of competitive play, Michigan State (12-7, 4-4) went on a 17-1 run midway through the first half to build a comfortable lead.

Maryland’s woes were fueled by sloppy play and errant shots. It turned the ball over nine times in the first half and consistently launched 3-point attempts, most of which were off target. Jahari Long came off the bench and provided a spark with a trio of first-half threes, but his teammates went just 2-for-11 from beyond the arc in the period. At one point in the frame, Maryland didn’t make a field goal for eight and a half minutes.

“I wouldn’t say they were doing that much, I thought it was just more us,” Maryland forward Donta Scott said of his team’s lengthy scoreless stretch. “Us not being able to take care of the ball, that’s what really messed us up. We got good looks, we got good shots. Some days they just don’t fall, and others they do.”

The Spartans made an emphasis to clog the lane to offset Julian Reese’s presence, forcing the junior forward to send the ball back out to the perimeter for Maryland to launch outside shots. Although he grabbed eight rebounds, Reese didn’t make a field goal in opening 20 minutes.

“That’s how most of the teams in the conference play me. We just got to adjust to it,” said Reese.

Maryland’s defense allowed it to hang around and eventually undo Michigan State’s once substantial lead, though. The Terps went on an 11-2 run to start the second half, featuring threes from Young and Scott and an old-fashioned three-point play from Reese.

As the Terps drew closer, the volume level inside XFINITY Center rose, and the home team fed off its newfound energy with more fluid play and an emphasis to push the ball inside. Reese came alive, Scott generated solid looks and Young stayed steady.

A three from Young that swished through the net with just over eight minutes remaining granted Maryland its first advantage since 13:08 remained in the first half, and from then on the teams traded blows in what quickly evolved into a narrow fight.

“The first half was probably one of our best halves of basketball both offensively and defensively. In the second half, I think they turned up their defense and they really gave us some fits and we did not handle it very well,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said.

A crafty drive and finish from Young brought Maryland within one with just over a minute remaining, but a Tyson Walker step-back three proved to be the difference, with Hollamon’s last-second steal sealing the result.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Maryland
Tyson Walker shushed the Maryland crowd after knocking down a late-game three.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Three things to know

1. The Terps dominated on the boards. Maryland out-rebounded Michigan State, 37-22, with Reese leading the way by grabbing 12 boards. Willard chalked the advantage up to his team simply missing more shots.

2. Scott’s play continued to impress. In the early portion of the season, Scott drew criticism for his lackluster play. But recently, he’s become Maryland’s most productive player not named Young. He provided plenty of timely buckets on Sunday and was key in the Terps’ second-half turnaround, finishing with 16 points.

3. A missed opportunity. Maryland and Michigan State both came into Sunday’s game in need of a win, and it was the Spartans who left College Park with their first conference road victory of the year. Now having dropped two Big Ten games at home, the Terps have their backs squarely against the wall with time ticking away to improve their generally unimpressive resume.