Despite the Maryland Terrapins poor performances on the road, one of the few positives for the team has been its stellar outings at home.
Playing in the Xfinity Center has been in the Terps’ comfort zone all season. While the team’s road games have been underwhelming and disappointing for fans and players alike, the Terps have enjoyed a 15-2 record at home and managed to keep the score close.
That wasn’t the case Saturday night in Maryland’s second game against the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines.
The Wolverine spoiled the Terps’ Senior Day and final home game of the year with a barrage of threes and stout defense, cruising to an 85-61 win.
In the rematch of Maryland’s 68-67 loss to Michigan on Jan. 15, the Wolverines jumped on Maryland (19-12, 8-10) early and led by 30 by the end of halftime. Although Maryland made an improved effort early in the second half, Michigan (24-7, 13-5) remained squarely in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.
“We weren’t very good,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “They (Michigan) made every shot, and we couldn’t guard them. We’ve been pretty good 11 straight games, and today we weren’t.”
It seemed as if every shot Michigan took had a good chance of going in. The Wolverines were shooting 60 percent from the floor by the first half, including 11-of-19 from 3-point range, led by senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Abdur-Rahkman led the Wolverines with 28 points, shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc.
“He’s a guy we play through,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said of Abdur-Rahkman. “This young man has always been this really good role player. … and he just gets better every year, and he’s having a great February.”
“He got hot,” said sophomore guard Kevin Huerter. “It seemed like…got a lot of open shots in the first half. He’s a senior, and you expect him to make those shots. He’s been making them throughout his career.”
Michigan was ranked No. 1 in scoring defense in the Big Ten, and its play was deserving of that spot against the Terps. While Abdur-Rahkman was making shots over the Terps from all over the court, Maryland struggled mightily for the entire game. The Terps hit just three 3-pointers all game, and they were held to just 38 percent from the floor.
The loss ensures Maryland will finish below .500 in the conference play for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Since joining the Big Ten at the start of the 2013-14 season, Maryland had finished every season at least .500.
Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan finished the game leading the Terps with 17 points. Huerter added 12 points, while freshman forward Bruno Fernando had 12 points to go with four rebounds.
Outside of Abdur-Rahkman, Michigan had three players finish in double figures. Junior guard Charles Matthews finished with 11 points, while freshman guard Jordan Poole had 12 points and sophomore guard Zavier Simpson had 10.
After Huerter put the Terps up 10-8 four minutes into the game, Abdur-Rahkman hit a 3-pointer that sparked a 9-2 Michigan run, giving the Wolverines the lead. Michigan soon doubled up Maryland’s score 36-18, and by halftime the Terps were down 54-24.
Maryland managed to cut Michigan’s lead down to 20 with less than 10 minutes in the game, but Michigan’s lead ensured that all the team had to do was score just enough to keep Maryland out of range of a comeback.
With Maryland’s hope for an NCAA Tournament berth likely gone, Maryland will look to have a strong performance in the Big Ten Tournament, starting against Wisconsin in New York City on March 1. Maryland beat Wisconsin earlier in the season 68-63, but the win came in final six minutes at the Xfinity Center. Although the second game will be at a neutral site, Maryland is still 2-8 on the road.
Tipoff against the Badgers will be at noon.
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