Big Ten road games continue to get the best of Purdue, as another cold start dooms Purdue, who falls to Maryland 57-50.
Purdue got off to another cold start, going down 20-4 to Maryland in a game that looked like it was going to be a blow out with Maryland pushing a double-digit lead the entire first half on hot shooting from the perimeter and a defense that gave Purdue a lot of problems.
Aaron Wiggins knocked down two threes in the first half and threw down a thunderous right-handed dunk towards the end of the second half as two Purdue defenders banged into each other opening up the lane for the Terrapin guard.
For Purdue, their threes never did start falling, 3 of 17 for the game, but their offense surged in the second half behind the play of their much-maligned point guard, Nojel Eastern. Eastern had his best offensive performance of the season, scoring 14 points on 6-11 shooting.
While Sasha Stefanovic continued his struggles on the road with his touch deep, he was able to get to the line, making all 5 of his free throw attempts, and led the team in rebounding with 8. But Purdue needs his sharpshooting if they are going to turn these close losses on the road into wins.
Trevion Williams had his quietest game in a while, scoring just 8 points and hauling in 7 rebounds. He was often times bothered by Smith’s long arms and quick athleticism in the post.
The Boilermakers nearly fought their way back behind a much improved defensive effort and some timely baskets late. But trailing three with around 2 minutes left, Matt Haarms forced up a poor shot in the post, and on the ensuing possession, Isaiah Thompson was called for a phantom traveling call on a cut to the basket.
This was just enough to allow the Terrapins to edge out Purdue in a muddled and messy Big Ten race.
Purdue falls to 3-4 in the Big Ten, but they will get the comfort of Mackey for two games this upcoming week as they look to revenge the worst loss of the season against Illinois on Tuesday.