Washington, D.C. — Maryland basketball’s Big Ten Tournament run is over after just one game.
The Terps dropped a 72-64 result to Northwestern Friday night, their first game after receiving a double-bye to start the tournament. They’ll now await their NCAA Tournament fate, which will be announced on Sunday.
Kevin Huerter had Northwestern’s number early, and was Maryland’s guiding force for a while. He led all scorers with 12 first-half points, and was on his way to filling up the rest of the stat sheet as well. Huerter finished with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting. But it wasn’t enough to counteract a Northwestern team that shot 55 percent in the second half, and outrebounded the Terps 32-24.
Vic Law (17 points), Scottie Lindsey (17) and Bryant McIntosh (16) drove the bus for Northwestern. Huerter, Melo Trimble (20 points, six rebonds, four assists, six turnovers) and Anthony Cowan (13 points, five rebounds, one assist) kept Maryland in the game, but the rest of the team combined for only 12 points. Maryland’s bench only scored six, compared to 14 for Northwestern’s.
Maryland and Northwestern were knotted up through most of the first half. Each team went three-plus minutes without hitting a field goal, but Northwestern’s cold streak came at the end of the half. Huerter found L.G. Gill as the time expired to end the first 20 minutes, and the forward hit a turnaround jumper to give the Terps a 36-34 lead going into the break.
Maryland started the second half on an 8-0 run, but Northwestern countered that with a 12-2 streak to tie the game at 46 with 11:48 to go. Northwestern didn’t give up the lead after that, and the Terps couldn’t find any offense down the stretch. Maryland shot 42 percent in the second half.
Now Mark Turgeon and his team can only watch as Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota battle for the Big Ten Championship in Maryland’s backyard.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s Big Ten Tournament run is over after just one game. Maryland was favored coming into this game, and had to travel just down the street to D.C. to play a Northwestern team that had just played the night before after flying in from Chicago. The loss shouldn’t affect Maryland’s NCAA Tournament seeding much, but a one-and-done performance in this conference tournament certainly isn’t what Mark Turgeon wanted.
2. This was definitely a home-court environment. Many teams had some solid representation in D.C., but for Maryland, this was an essentially a home court. The arena exploded after Trimble’s layups, and jeered referees for missed foul calls.
3. Kevin Huerter did just about everything. Huerter was at his best Friday night, grabbing steals, playing solid defense and knocking down deeeeep threes. He even tipped in a missed free-throw in acrobatic fashion. With the rest of the conference watching, Huerter made a statement after he was left off the Big Ten’s all-freshman team.