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Takeaways from Maryland men’s basketball’s loss to Rutgers

Catch up on some takeaways from one of the Terps’ worst defeats of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men’s basketball took a giant step back Tuesday when it fell at home to Rutgers, 56-53.

The Terps shot just 39.1% from the field while committing 15 turnovers.

Here are some takeaways from the defeat.

Both offenses performed as expected

When the two worst offenses in the Big Ten — also both top-three defenses — face off, it’s expected for the game to be low-scoring.

While a 56-53 score implies bad offense on the surface, it was even worse under it.

From the start, it was a dismal display of offensive basketball. In the first half alone, the teams shot a combined 16-of-55 from the field (29.1%). As well, there were 19 total turnovers, with Rutgers committing 12.

The score at halftime was 24-22 in favor of Maryland, with the score tied at eight at the under-12 timeout.

Maryland went on two separate scoring droughts, one of over four minutes and another of seven.. The Scarlet Knights also couldn't buy a bucket for long stretches, going without a point for about four minutes twice.

Maryland’s 24 first-half points was its lowest total in a period since it scored 15 in the first half against Villanova on Nov. 17.

“We just, we didn’t have a whole lot of energy with that starting group that’s been really, really good for us,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “They were good defensively, but offensively we were just, we don’t have the same sense of urgency on offense that we did on defense.”

But what really cost the Terps was their sheer incompetence from 3-point range.

While no attempts were important than Donta Scott’s miss in the final seconds of the game, Maryland’s effort from beyond the arc cost it throughout, with just two of its 18 attempts finding the bottom of the net.

“We were so lackadaisical on the offensive end,” Willard said.

Reese made just three of his nine free throws, proving ever so costly in the end.

Young and Scott struggled mightily

Maryland recieved two bench points Tuesday, once again forcing Jahmir Young, Scott and Reese to carry the load.

Reese was excellent, but the latter two were not.

Young, who has at times single-handedly kept the Terps afloat, finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. But he was very inefficient, going 3-of-17 from the field with five turnovers.

“Jahmir’s been so good,” Willard said. “It’s tough to really critique anything that he’s done.

“When we’ve struggled to get off to good starts, we’ve really – [Young’s] kind of struggled because he’s tried to push the tempo a little bit.”

Scott meanwhile, was benched for parts of the first half after a lackluster start to the game. He finished with eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, and four of his five missed threes were open looks.

“To be honest, it was a lack of urgency all around,” Young said.

Out of NCAA Tournament consideration?

Unless Maryland wins its final eight games of the regular season or goes on a miracle run in the Big Ten Tournament, it’s looking at missing the NCAA Tournament.

For as poor as Maryland has played at times, the season had never been fully in doubt because of its elite defense, which ranks No. 6 in the country, per KenPom.com.

Maryland has conceded just 122 points in its last two games. It lost both.

“It’s almost like we get a little tight on the offensive end, and then we kind of force things a little bit,” Willard added. “And that’s — that was the Michigan State game at home, and that was tonight.”