Maryland’s Heartbreaking Loss To Purdue Possibly Down To Uncalled Foul
The Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team lost their fifth straight game this Sunday, suffering a marginal 62-61 loss to the No.3 Purdue Boilermakers at the Mackey Arena. The defeat was a heartbreaking one, especially as Maryland was made to feel hard-done-by via what they will consider poor, late officiating.
While a subject for debate, it did appear that Terrapins junior forward Donta Scott was fouled on an attempt to score what would have been the game-winning layup in the dying embers. Instead, Purdue’s Trevion Williams was credited with a game-saving block.
“Scott is one of the best in the league and I figured it wasn’t him it would be (Fatts) Russell,” Williams said after the game. “I had that in the back of my mind. It just comes with personnel and preparing for the game. I just did my best to wall it up and get a stop.”
Danny Manning, Maryland’s interim head coach, disagreed wholly. “The clip that I saw from one of our guys on the staff, I thought Donta got fouled,” he told reporters.
Manning went as far as tweeting three photos of Scott making the drive to the basket along with the caption: “Life is not fair, but you keep battling.” An hour later, he posted another captioned: “Still would have had to make the free throws.”
“We did some things well enough to give us a chance to win,” he added during the news conference. “I loved the effort and moxie. We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but that effort and moxie gave us the chance to compete with one of the better teams in the country.”
While the no-call could remain a talking point for the team the rest of the season, Maryland should also rule the inbound play. Russell made the inbound pass to Scott, leading him to the rim in pretty heavy traffic. Williams and Mason Gillis were right up in his grill and, whether or not he was fouled, he would have had a pretty hard time making that shot.
“That’s how the play was going to go,” Russell explained. “I was going to come off the dribble handoff, and Donta was gonna take it and keep it.”
Hakim Hart, a junior forward, had an easy look as he was cutting in from the free-throw line and could have easily scored had he gotten a pass. However, why Scott was handed the last shot instead of Russell continues to be the burning question.
The 23-year-old guard ended the game with 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. He scored 14 points in the second half and tied the game via a layup with 38 seconds left on the clock.
Maryland played a pretty solid defensive game, despite having suffered a fifth successive defeat, and it could be argued that it was their best display on that side of the ball all season. They really showed up against a team that was the fifth-best scoring offense in the nation prior to Sunday’s game Maryland Terrapins.
Following an embarrassing loss in which they allowed Iowa to score 110 points, they headed to Purdue’s home turf intent on limiting their scoring, though folks taking advantage of BetMGM codes in Maryland would have been brave to place their bets on the Terrapins for this one. They held the Boilermakers to their third-lowest scoring output of the season and forced eight steals.
Russell revealed the team had a film session prior to the game highlighting their poor body language against Iowa, which really helped.
“Our guys huddled up, and we decided that we [were] going to change that, and from now on, we are going to try to keep that intensity,” he said.
The defensive effort was far better this time around, although it didn’t result in a win. The players switched well and threw different defenders at Purdue’s more efficient scoring threats, holding them to 2-9 shooting from three in the first half. The Boilermakers are the best three-point shooting team in the Big Ten.
Purdue’s star guard Jaden Ivey had averaged 21.8 points in the five games he played before facing the Terrapins but only scored 11 points on 2-9 shooting from the field. He was, however, responsible for the go-ahead layup during the clutch moment Maryland Terrapins.
“They score the ball in a high clip and shoot it from three at a high clip,” Manning remarked. “We wanted to compete and throw different looks at them from time to time. The biggest thing for us was to do whatever we can to give ourselves a chance to win this ballgame.”
Maryland will hope they can get over the line when they face Nebraska away this coming Friday.
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