Maryland basketball came back from a 12-point second-half deficit to steal a game it trailed for 34 minutes in, winning 71-70 against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Incredibly, the win is the Terps’ sixth by six points or less.
Melo Trimble, as always, nailed a pair of free throws with 9.4 seconds left to pull out the victory for Maryland. Oklahoma State had a chance to win at the buzzer, but fell short as the Terps edged out yet another thriller.
It was another lackluster shooting performance for Maryland, which shot 18 percent from three-point range and 66 percent from the free throw line. But its defense prevailed to allow the Terps to go on a 13-0 run late in the game and come away with the win.
The scoring effort was balanced, with another double-digit effort from center Damonte Dodd—who finished with 12 and 8 rebounds—and a big scoring night from Jaylen Brantley, who has been the Terps most consistent player of the bench so far this season, with 12. Melo Trimble finished with 13 and Anthony Cowan added 11.
The Terps looked shaky in the opening minutes, struggling again to find the net and break the Cowboys’ full-court press. The pressure got to freshman Cowan, who turned the ball over twice in the opening four minutes and sat because of it. Maryland turned it over 13 times in the half. But Cowan’s play picked up in the later minutes of the half and he finished with nine points, two rebounds and two assists.
Ivan Bender missed the contest with a bone bruise in his left knee and L.G. Gill picked up a few productive minutes, hitting his first three-point shot of the season. Dion Wiley also stepped up off the bench, hitting a three of his own; he also played well defending the ball and boxing out under the rim.
But he was one of the few, as the Terps were out-rebounded 27-18, allowing 12 offensive boards in the opening 20 minutes. Fortunately for Maryland, the Cowboys only converted on eight second-chance points. Still, Oklahoma State led for 19 minutes in the half and took a 43-35 lead into the locker room.
Oklahoma State held off many of the Terps’ short runs and maintained a steady lead for most of the game. Maryland cut the score within five points numerous times, but the Cowboys answered from behind the line.
The Terps continued to struggle to contain 6’6 forward Jeffrey Carroll on the boards; he finished with a double-double on 15 points and 12 rebounds to power Oklahoma State.
Maryland fought back though, like it always does, to take the lead on a Justin Jackson free throw with less than seven minutes to go to finish a 13-0 run. The Terps forced two turnovers and contested well on mid-range looks.
The teams were neck-and-neck in the final minutes, but Maryland did what Maryland has done all season and edged out a close one.
Melo Trimble missed one of four free throws he took in the final minute, but the Terps survived anyway and are now 8-1.
The Terps take on Howard next on Wednesday in College Park.
Three things to know
- Maryland split its biggest non-conference games. The loss to Pittsburgh was ugly, but the Terps took care of business in Brooklyn over Kansas State and, more importantly, in this one against Oklahoma State. The Terps had a noticeably easy schedule before Big Ten play and could ill afford to lose the few games it had against KenPom top-100 opponents.
- Maryland’s three-point shooting was still bad, and its free throw shooting followed suit. The Terps didn’t take nearly the amount they did against Pittsburgh, but still made just 8-of-24. That isn’t going to get the job done in a lot of games and for a team like Maryland without much of a post presence, won’t be enough in most games. It got the job done here, though.
- Dion Wiley and L.G. Gill looked much better in this one. Maryland’s star power isn’t going to thrill, but its depth can win games. Wiley had shot poorly entering Saturday night’s game and Gill had started to fall out of the rotation. But Wiley finished with just three points but, played solid defensively and Gill chipped in seven in Ivan Bender’s absence.