Maryland Suffers First Defeat, Falls 64-59 At Wisconsin

Maryland struggled to find the bottom of the net in its first conference road game as Wisconsin completed the 64-59 upset over Maryland.

“You have to give them a lot of credit for, for them taking us out, our offense,” Willard said postgame.

Maryland shot just 38.5% from the field, including 30.8% in the second half, as Jahmir Young and Julian Reese were the lone Terps to finish in double figures. For a team that led for all but eight minutes and haven’t trailed by more than three points all season, head coach Kevin Willard saw his team dig itself into an early hole with Maryland playing from behind nearly all 40 minutes.

Maryland struggled to find any offensive rhythm to open the game, committing as many turnovers as made field goals through the first three minutes. It didn’t help that Maryland couldn’t find its stroke from deep, missing their first five attempts and starting just 1-of-8 from deep. Wisconsin took advantage as they spread Maryland’s defense out only to find scoring in the paint.

 I thought we had opportunities; we just didn’t take them,” Wilard added postgame. “We missed like five free throws down the stretch and (Chucky) Hepburn hit that tough three at the end of the shot clock which was a back-breaker. But, I thought we hurt ourselves because we didn’t take advantage of some of the opportunities we had. You have to give them credit, they’re excellent defensively. They play physically, they’re on a string together. You have to give them a lot of credit for taking us out of our offense.”

That changed with five minutes left in the first half after an 11-0 run cut the deficit to just one before the Badgers ended a four-minute scoring drought. But a triple from Don Carey tied the game for the first time since the 17:55 mark and after the Badgers took a two-point lead into the locker room, Scott notched one of a career-high three blocks of the night and finished a coast-to-coast run to tie the game once more. Scott also finished with a game-high ten rebounds, marking the eighth time he’s recorded double-figure rebounds.

Thirty seconds later, Maryland would take its first lead of the game courtesy of a floater from Julian Reese. The offense would cool off then, the same time the Badgers caught fire.

Despite playing 31 minutes, Reese played through foul trouble down the stretch as the Badgers were able to outscore the Terps 24-18 in the paint. “The biggest thing when he’s out of the game, I think we have to be a little bit more patient on the offensive end cause Julian does a lot of good stuff for us, flashing to the high post. But if he’s getting 31 minutes a game at Big Ten play, it’s, it’s pretty solid for me,” Willard added.

With Reese on the bench, Wisconsin’s 8-0 run with six minutes left stretched the lead back to eight. In the end, Maryland missed all but three of their final 18 shot attempts and was never able to trim the lead back under four points the rest of the way, ending Maryland’s eight-game winning streak to open the season.

Maryland will look to rebound on Sunday against the seventh-ranked Tennessee Volunteers at the Barclays Center.

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