Maryland basketball lost a heartbreaker to Michigan in Ann Arbor on Monday.
The Terps held a 14-point lead in the first half and trailed by as much as 10 in the second. However, with just over six seconds left, Maryland was only down 66-64 and had an opportunity to draw up a play.
Despite Kevin Huerter’s prior inefficiency on the night—he was just 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-6 from three prior to the play—head coach Mark Turgeon dialed up a play to get his best three-point shooter some room. Joshua Tomaic set a beautiful pin-down screen to get Huerter separation from his defender, and Michal Cekovsky delivered an on-target pass to Huerter a couple feet beyond the arc.
Huerter, who was already gathering his steps while coming around the screen, caught the pass right in the shooter’s pocket and fired away from deep three-point range. Cash. Ballgame.
KEVIN HUERTER FOR THE WIN! pic.twitter.com/DO8xyYCVrS— Lamar Johnson (@im_lamar) January 16, 2018
Wait ... what?
Narrator: "But it was not for the win." https://t.co/msggs2zIDq— SB Nation CBB (@SBNationCBB) January 16, 2018
What do you mean?
FOR THE LEAD ONLY TO LOSE WITH 1.2 SECONDS LEFT*— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) January 16, 2018
(THX @fhsseasonticket!) https://t.co/Q3Bv1ZRaHE
Michigan coach John Beilein called a timeout to set up a final play, and all the Terps needed to do was defend for 3.5 more seconds.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was the second Wolverine to come around a screen in the backcourt, finding space behind Anthony Cowan, who was defending the inbounds pass out near halfcourt but had his back to the baseline. The inbounder was left unattended, allowing him to make a baseball pass halfway down the court unbothered.
While the main issue was the defensive coverage once the ball got inbounded, sticking a defender on the trigger man may have forced Michigan to start their final play in the frontcourt. Instead, Abdur-Rahkman was able catch the ball a step past halfcourt and get a head of steam before being fouled by Bruno Fernando inside the arc with 1.2 seconds left.
The game-winner would actually come at the line from Abdur-Rahkman. After tying the game with the first free throw, he ended it with one more at the charity stripe.
MAAR called game. ✊️#GoBlue pic.twitter.com/WuzINg3E42— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) January 16, 2018
After the game, Turgeon took the blame for the error in coverage, saying he didn’t properly explain how he wanted the team to cover the inbounds. As a result, the Terps fell under .500 in Big Ten play for the season, sporting a 3-4 conference record.
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