Instant Reactions: #3 Purdue 54, Maryland, 68

Maryland gets its signature victory in year one under Kevin Willard.

Maryland defeated Purdue 68-54 after a dominant second half to give the Terps got their first win over an AP top-five team since 2016. A dominating second half led Maryland to the convincing win after outscoring Purdue 43-26 in the second half. Breaking down how the Terps pulled off the upset.

Maryland basketball attacked Edey 

The Terps knew they’d have their hands full with Zach Edey heading into the first matchup and the dominant big man once again commanded full attention from the Terps’ frontcourt. He finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, including ten points in the second half. The Terps did an excellent job of putting pressure on him when he received the ball in the post, often rotating to double Edey in the post to force him to distribute to a Purdue team that struggled from three. While the Terps were able to limit his production through the first 19 minutes, a key swing came when Edey was called for a pair of fouls within the final minute of the first half, sending him to the bench early.

Edey would pick up the pace through the final six minutes with seven points to cut into the lead, but the Terps were also able to find their own success in the paint after struggling early on with Edey’s length. Maryland ultimately outscored Purdue 38-30 in the paint, largely because they outscored them 24-10 in the second half thanks to their touch in the midrange and combined ten second half points from Don Carey and Hakim Hart.

Most impressive? Maryland did so without committing a foul for the first 15 minutes of the game.

Technical foul flips the game

Smith got Purdue going in the second half with five early points. Edey got two of their three blocks on paint touches by the Terps. Getting him in foul trouble was the strategy there, but he showed good technique in making those defensive plays. The Boilermakers led 37-29 at the first media timeout, and the surge didn’t last long after that. After Reese was fouled, Mason Gillis was called for a technical foul and the game flipped.

Young knocked down a jumper then pair of free throws to kickstart a 10-0 run. You blinked, and Maryland basketball grabbed the lead, 39-37. The Terps put on a clinic after the technical foul as they made seven of their last eight shots and scored 14 points to take 45-40. Purdue leaned on its timeouts to slow down Maryland’s momentum after Carey’s bucket, then again when Hakim Hart’s three pushed the lead to 50-14.

Maryland’s run ballooned to 29-4 after a three from Hakim Hart pushed the lead to 58-41, marking Purdue’s largest deficit of the season. The Terps never pushed back and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Maryland basketball dominance at home continues

The Big Ten is a hard conference to play in. Any team can beat you any night. It says a lot about a team when they can go undefeated in their building the way that the Terps have. Taking down a top-five team is huge for the program. Maryland fans stormed the court, pandemonium ensued after the win, and the Boilermakers left the Xfinity Center with their second-straight loss.

Young finished the game with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists. The former DeMatha product chose the Terps over Gonzaga and Purdue for moments and games like this. Again, a special win by Kevin Willard and company.

Maryland was already on the cusp of the AP top 25 and safely in NCAA Tournament projections, but Thursday’s win gave Maryland something it hasn’t had in a long time—a signature win. To do so in Kevin Willard’s first season with the program adds another vote of confidence for the direction of the program. Maryland’s win marked their first win over a top-five opponent since January 28, 2016 when then eighth-ranked Maryland beat Iowa 74-68 at home. Not only did Maryland pick up its fourth Quad 1 win of the season, but the 29-4 run in the second-half pushed the lead to 58-41—Purdue’s largest deficit of the season. As fans rejoiced in front of a sold-out crowd, the marquee victory gives Willard another ‘check’ on his to-do list as the leader of the program.

 

Maryland moves to 18-8 (9-6) with a road game on Sunday afternoon against Nebraska next.

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