Maryland basketball got a much-needed 79-59 victory over Rutgers Tuesday night in Piscataway. The Terps snapped a three-game losing streak with a balanced offense, and can go into Saturday’s season finale at home against Michigan State breathing a little easier.
A 10-0 run after halftime put Maryland comfortably ahead, and the Terps were able to extend that all the way to 19 points with under 10 minutes to go. Rutgers only got within 16 points down the stretch. Maryland moves to 23-7 on the season, and can hold onto its double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament with a win in Saturday’s season finale.
After losing back-to-back home games to Minnesota and Iowa following a road loss to WIsconsin, Maryland looked lost. Rutgers is in last place in the Big Ten, so a win here won’t quiet nearly all of the doubters, but it’s a start.
CJ Gettys and DeShawn Freeman sliced up Maryland’s defense in the first half. Gettys hit his first five shots and scored 10 of Rutgers’ first 20 points. The duo had 21 of Rutgers’ 28 first-half points. They made eight of their nine attempts from the field, while the rest of the team went 3-for-18.
Trimble made it 32-28 with a diving layup right before time expired.
Maryland upped that four-point lead to 10 thanks to a 10-0 run in the beginning of the second half. The Terps shut down Gettys and Freeman, who only had two points in the second half, and Kevin Huerter knocked in all of his eight points after the intermission. All nine of Damonte Dodd’s points came after halftime too, and even though Rutgers’ Mike Williams scored all 14 of his points in the final 20 minutes, that wasn’t nearly enough for the Scarlet Knights.
Three things to know
- Maryland got a much-needed win. The Terps had lost five of their last seven games, and were reeling after a 14-point loss to Iowa. Beating Rutgers isn’t usually a thing any Big Ten team celebrates too much, but Maryland can exhale a bit now.
- The Terps’ offense woke back up. Maryland shot 54 percent from the field, its best mark since hitting 57 percent against Iowa in January. Rutgers came in with a solid defense (ranked 59th by KenPom), but the Terps were able to score at will.
- Maryland got a blowout win and its opponent never made a run. Maryland’s been up big on multiple occasions before letting its opposition come back and at least make it close. A pessimist could have doubted the Terps’ double-digit lead with under 10 minutes, and would have had a case to do so. But when the final buzzer hit, Maryland was still comfortably ahead.