Terrapin freshman Joshua Tomaic (33) scores inside the paint during the second half. (Lila Bromberg/ The Left Bench)

Maryland’s comeback falls short, falls below .500 in Big Ten

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman is quite a mouthful for anyone to say, but the name is going to be on the minds of the Maryland Terrapins’ fans for quite some time.

With three seconds left on the game clock in Maryland’s seventh conference game of the season against Michigan, sophomore guard Kevin Huerter drained a 3-point basket that put his team up for the first team since 13:02 in the second half.

But Michigan’s ensuing inbound pass, Maryland center Bruno Fernando fouled Abdur-Rahkman, sending the 6 foot 4 senior to the free throw line to make the go-ahead shots.

Abdur-Rahkman hit both, putting an end to Maryland’s temporary celebration with a 68-67 loss.

Abdur-Rahkman finished the game with just seven points, but five of those seven came in the final minute of the game, as Michigan (15-4, 4-3) was attempting to hold off a surging Maryland offense that had been held to just two points in five minutes.

Outside of a layup from Zavier Simpson, Abdur-Rahkman took over Michigan’s offense. That included a three with 1:03 left to play that put the Wolverines back up by five.

Maryland (14-6, 3-4) dipped below .500 in the Big Ten since its loss to Purdue after a strong outing in the first half. Although the Terps outshot and rebounded the Wolverines in field goals and free throw percentage, the team committed 12 turnovers to Michigan’s six, resulting in 18 points for the Wolverines.

But the biggest problem for Maryland was its lack of depth, which has been an issue since the team lost sophomore Justin Jackson and redshirt junior Ivan Bender to injury for the rest of the year. Maryland didn’t get much help from its bench, as it was outscored by Michigan’s 24-8.

Huerter finished the night with 12 points shooting 2-of-7 from the 3-point line. Sophomore point guard Anthony Cowan played a full 40 minutes again for the Terps and led the team with 24 points, five rebounds and four assists.

It seemed as if Maryland had found an answer to its depth issues early in the game after it took an 18-9 lead. Cowan was a bright spot for the Terps in the first half, fueling an 8-0 run with a jump shot and a 3-pointer.

The Terps led by as many as 14 in the first 20 minutes, and by halftimes they held a 30-20 lead over Michigan.

But as the second half began, Maryland’s offense, which had been productive up to that point, began to slip, and there was a distinct difference between the first half and the rest of the game.

A 10-0 run from Michigan quickly erased Maryland’s lead, tying the game 30-30. The Terps responded with a 7-0 run of their own, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Wolverines, who took a lead for the first time since the opening shot of the game with a three from Jordan Poole, putting Michigan up 42-41.

For the next eight minutes, Maryland was held in check and were outscored 17-9.

With five minutes left to play and down 59-50, Maryland’s offense came alive again, and it began chipping away at Michigan’s lead until Huerter’s three put the Terps up 67-66.

Fernando’s foul on Abdur-Rahkman came with just one second left, preventing Maryland from taking a last-second shot.

Maryland will be back at home in the Xfinity Center, trying to get back to .500 in the Big Ten against Minnesota on Jan. 18. Tipoff will be at 8:30 p.m.