Instant Reactions: Maryland 55, Purdue 58

Maryland basketball turned up their intensity in the second half to get within one possession of tying the game in the final minutes but the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers escaped Mackey Arena with 58-55 victory.

Zach Edey finished 24 points and 16 rebounds. Julian Reese was the high point man for the Terps with 19 points, followed by Jahmir Young’s 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

Edey proved why he is the best big man and arguably the best player in college basketball. Arguably the favorite for player of the year, Edey finished with 11 points and seven rebounds to lead all scorers as the Boilermakers led the Terps by a football score of 35-21 at halftime.

The Terps were able to get to the basket, but couldn’t be as aggressive given the rim protection that Purdue had. During the first half, Ian Martinez provided a spark off the bench with five points, but outside of him, Julian Reese was the only one who provided them with consistent offense. He had nine points at the break.

The Terps found themselves down five, 50-45, with seven minutes left in the game. They held the Boilermakers scoreless for three and a half minutes to cut that deficit. Later down the stretch, both Reese and Hakim Hart had four fouls. Young kept the Terps in the game as he made big shots to keep them within one possession several times.

Reese may have had trouble battling with Zach Edey in the first half, but when the Terps needed a bucket, Reese was the guy to make a play in the post.

Maryland basketball tries to be physical with Zach Edey, Purdue didn’t care

The Terps tried early and often to be physical with Edey in this game, but it backfired. Both Reese and Caelum Swanton-Rodger had two fouls as the Terps frontcourt was then in a pinch. As a result, Edey was able to pick his spots on the floor and score with ease. Halfway through the first half, the Boilermakers had a 25-9 lead, and they outrebounded the Terps 13-4. Edey had seven points, three rebounds, and a block at that point. The welcomed sight? The return of Patrick Emilien, who missed the last two games with an ankle injury. His five minutes didn’t lead to any stats, but proved vital in the paint as Maryland battled its foul trouble.

Purdue’s stout defense flustered the Terps

The Boilermakers had a size advantage that helped them on the defensive end. Young couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half. He had good looks but struggled to knock them down. The Boilermakers also did a good job of trapping the Terps in their half-court set, which drained the shot clock and put them in tough spots.

The Terps have a resurgence in the second half

Maryland basketball came out of the halftime break with more intensity and scored seven unanswered points to close the Boilermakers’ gap. It started with a Hakim Hart fast-break layup, and they continued to get the ball inside from there and found themselves down by eight, 36-28.

Young didn’t score his first points of the game until around the 14-minute mark in the second half.  He was much more aggressive and nearly made a one-handed slam from the right side looking to poster Edey, but just missed it with his offhand.

The Terps caused seven second-half turnovers, which allowed them to hang around and come close to tying this game. Once Young got going, that transferred to the rest of the team, despite several key Terps teetering on the tight rope of foul trouble late in the game.

It’s a tough loss given all the effort the team exerted to get back in it. They have a lot of things to be proud of after going blow-for-blow with the best team in the Big Ten.

The Wisconsin Badgers come to College Park on Wednesday. Tune in at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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