Maryland basketball came back yet again from a large deficit against a not-so-great team, beating the Richmond Spiders, 88-82 in overtime. The Terps trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half and nearly choked in the final minutes of regulation, but an otherwise strong second half from Melo Trimble helped them come back.
Trimble was everything again for the Terps despite a poor shooting performance in the first half. He finished with 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting, connecting on five threes and won this one without reaching the foul line often. His play was supplemented by late strong performances from the freshmen as Anthony Cowan, Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter who finished with 18, 16 and 12 respectively.
This one could’ve been over with in regulation.
Justin Jackson drew a foul with 13.7 seconds remaining with Maryland trailing by one point. He connected on the first and missed the go-ahead free throw to knot the score at 70 with 12.7 to go.
After an official review, Maryland was awarded the ball as the missed free throw touched Richmond last. Cowan’s inbound pass to Trimble was intercepted, but a well-defended three was nowhere close for Richmond and the game went to overtime.
Trimble closed out the game like the Terps’ have become so accustomed to and pulled out the win for a Maryland team that still doesn’t look quite right.
Maryland struggled mightily in the first half. The team hit just one of its 13 attempts behind the arc, and couldn’t find rhythm anywhere else to compensate.
Trimble finished with 10 points, but only made his way to the free throw line four times and converted on 3-of-8 tries from the field. The Terps as a whole shot a putrid 9-of-30 from the field and the freshmen, who had shined in the first few games, fell flat. Justin Jackson didn’t register a stat aside from fouling, Cowan struggled to find routes to the rim and Huerter missed both of his shots from three. He did grab seven rebounds to go along with his four points.
Ivan Bender looked promising in 12 minutes, scoring six points and pulling down a pair of rebounds, but his inside presence wasn’t enough. Damonte Dodd missed his second consecutive contest with a concussion.
Maryland’s defense looked shaky as Richmond found open looks. The Spiders made 6-of-11 threes and out-rebounded the Terrapins, 23-18.
The Terps trailed 38-26 at the half, dropping off in the final 10 minutes of the half.
Maryland opened the second half on an 11-5 run and the looming comeback became apparent. Cowan changed speeds off the dribble to dart in the lane for a left-handed layup and Huerter swatted a Richmond layup and ran back to hit a three on the other end.
The Terps second half shook away most the bad of its opening minutes. Shots started falling, Cowan woke up offensively and Trimble looked Big Ten Player of the Year good for most of the half. He found his range and looked comfortable as always in the big moments.
But Maryland struggled to take a commanding lead and was forced into overtime against an inferior opponent. In the extra five minutes, the Terps did what they had to, scraping out another close win. They’ll have to play better as they play Kansas State on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. to close out the Barclays Center Classic.
Three things to know:
- They came back again. The wins haven’t been pretty, but they’ve been wins. Maryland’s freshmen haven’t played a complete game since the one against Georgetown, but that’s why Melo Trimble’s here. It’s worth mentioning Indiana lost to Fort Wayne earlier in the week, so it’s impressive the Terps haven’t dropped any of these close ones.
- They had to come back again. The close games are starting to become worrisome as Maryland really hasn’t played to its potential all season. The Terps don’t look like a preseason ranked team, but there are a few caveats. This team hasn’t played a game at full strength with Dodd, Wiley and Michal Cekovsky all missing time and Mark Turgeon is starting three freshmen. It’s still November, but Maryland has to find how it will make up for its lack of inside scoring when it can’t make shots from deep.
- Kevin Huerter didn’t shy away when he was needed. Huerter didn’t shoot great from the field, but opened the second half with a pair of threes en route to a comeback from a 14-point deficit. He missed shots after, but took them when he was open despite a cold shooting stretch. Maryland is best when he is aggressive shooting the ball and will need him to shoot through slumps. He finished with a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds.