Instant Reactions: Maryland 75, #21 Northwestern 59

Maryland basketball capped off the home slate of the regular season undefeated through conference play.

With the 75-59 victory over No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats (20-9, 11-7 Big Ten), the Terps (20-9, 11-7 Big Ten) finish with a 10-0 home record against Big Ten opponents and 16-1 overall. There is now a three-way tie for second place in the Big Ten between them, Northwestern and the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers.

All four senior starters scored in double figures once again: Jahmir Young (18 points), Don Carey (13 points), Donta Scott (11 points), and Hakim Hart (10 points).

Maryland basketball seniors take charge against Northwestern

Senior day could’ve gone have one of two ways: the seniors would be overcome with emotion and come out flat, or they would shine under the bright lights as they’ve done all season. The latter took place for the Terps as Young led the way with 16 points in the first half. Those points came with a top-shelf slam over freshman forward Nick Martinelli and a few clutch threes.

Carey got going early from deep and helped the Terps stay efficient from the perimeter. Scott continued to be aggressive in the paint. When he got the ball inside, he knocked down those shots.  Julian Reese earned himself another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He was stout on the defensive end and capitalized on some crowd-pleasing highlights. Two of them were a two-handed slam in the lane after he got good position under the basket and an excellent defensive play on a block at the rim that led to a three in transition by Hart.

Chase Audige leads Northwestern while Terps’ stifle Boo Buie

After Buie’s 35-point night on the road against Illinois, the Terps’ top priority was keeping Buie from having a big scoring night. He didn’t score his first points of the game until late in the first half. How did he make his presence felt? He showed his vision as a passer. He had eight assists to close the first half. His running mate in the backcourt, Chase Audige, stepped up for the Wildcats. He led the Wildcats with 14 points at halftime.

Buie and Audige combined 24 points and nine assists in the loss, which is a major credit to the Terps’ defensive pressure. At one point in the game, Audige turned the ball over on an inbounds play. Both players were frustrated when discussing the turnover on the sideline. The frustration only helped Maryland as they steadily grew their lead in the second half, while Audige struggled to deliver the punches back that Northwestern needed.

Don Carey reemerges from his shooting slump

Carey was a big reason why the Terps had the success they did from the perimeter on Sunday. We have to go back to the second half of the Minnesota game. Kevin Willard gave him the basketball and made sure he got good looks. He knocked those down and came out on fire in this game.

It reminds me of Eric Ayala during the 2019-20 season. He fell into a shooting slump late that year, and he scored 16 points against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a 72-70 win that turned things around for him. Ayala’s teammates believed in him and he got back on track. Carey did the same thing. When a player is as good of a shooter as Carey is, it’s hard to see them struggle. As the season, comes to a close and the postseason begins, look for Carey to be an X-factor for the Terps along with Ian Martinez who can light it up from the perimeter as well.

The Terps finished with 14 made threes in this game to cap off an onslaught of offense in the second half. Maryland basketball closes out the 2022-23 regular season on the road against Ohio State (Wednesday) and Penn State (Sunday).

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