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Maryland basketball's win vs. Purdue really happened at the foul line

The advanced statistical review of Maryland's win against the Boilermakers on Saturday.

Rasheed Sulaimon went 7-of-8 at the foul line on Saturday.
Rasheed Sulaimon went 7-of-8 at the foul line on Saturday.
Sung-Min Kim/Testudo Times

The most exciting statistical element of Maryland's victory against Purdue on Saturday was the Terps' setting a season low by committing only 8 turnovers. But that's not where the Terps really won the game.

Maryland got back to what was once its core offensive strength, in an era when the Terps didn't have post offense and relied solely on Melo Trimble and Dez Wells driving toward the rim and drawing fouls. The Terps beat the Boilermakers by 11 points overall and 22 points at the foul line. And that's how the story of this game was written.

In our advanced statistical review, here's a look at how Maryland fared in the "four factors" of team efficiency: effective field goal percentage (eFG%), turnover percentage (TOV%), offensive rebounding percentage (ORB%) and free throw tries per field goal attempt (FTA/FGA).


Maryland: 44.4 eFG% // Purdue: 42.8 eFG% // National average: 49.7 eFG%

The defenses in this game were both good enough that bad shooting numbers shouldn't surprise anybody. It was never going to be easy to make shots over Purdue's massive front line and savvy defensive wings. There's no reason not to simply give Maryland a pass here and start moving toward the next one.


Maryland: 10.8 TOV% // Purdue: 11.2 TOV% // National average: 18.4 TOV%

In addition to the Terps' lowest raw turnover count of the year, their turnover percentage – the rate of possessions on which they give the ball away – was also the lowest of the season. This wasn't about pace; it was about Maryland actually taking care of the basketball. (The Terps also couldn't get takeaways on defense, which continues to be underwhelming.)


Maryland: 12.5 ORB% // Purdue: 17.9 ORB% // National average: 30 ORB%

This is perversely really impressive. Purdue has a couple of absolutely voracious offensive rebounders, including center A.J. Hammons and wings Vince Edwards and Rapheal Davis. The Terps held the Boilers to grabbing not even 20 percent of their misses, and that's an excellent sign. That Maryland couldn't get any offensive rebounds itself isn't a huge deal on this occasion, as Purdue is the third-best defensive rebounding team in the country.

Free throw attempts

Maryland: 0.5 FTA/FGA // Purdue: 0.072 FTA/FGA // National average: 0.367 FTA/FGA

Here's where Maryland won the game. The Boilers took a hysterically low five foul shots all night (and made just two), while Maryland was a robust 24-of-27 at the charity stripe. Trimble, arguably the country's most productive foul shooter as a freshman but lagging there this season, was a vintage 10-of-11. Rasheed Sulaimon, who's struggled at the line all year, was 7-of-8. Maryland got to the line and made its shots, and Purdue did neither. It resulted in a 22-point swing from one spot on the court, more than enough to tip the outcome in Maryland's favor.