/queues up Christmas caroling voice.
I SAW THE BOILERS CHRISTMAS DAY ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING!
THEY BEAT THE TERPS ON CHRISTMAS DAY, ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING!
Yes, Purdue won on Christmas Day over Maryland. It was like the first and probably the last time Purdue has ever played basketball on Christmas Day, but pandemics make for strange bedfellows. Now we get part two of this home-and-home in this weird year, and it marks the first time in a while that Purdue will take the floor as a top 25 team. Let’s see what awaits us in College Park.
From: College Park, MD
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Venue: Xfinity Center (17,950) College Park, MD
Odds: No Line Yet
Date & Time: February 2, 2021, 6:30pm
Live Stats: Purdue Sports
Blog Representation: Testudo Times
2019-20 Record: 24-7, 14-6 Big Ten (Big Ten Regular Season Co-Champion)
2020-21 Record: 8-8, 3-7 Big Ten
NCAA Tournament History: 28 appearances, last in 2019. 2002 NCAA Champion
Series with Purdue: Purdue leads 6-4
Last Purdue win: 73-70 at Purdue on 12/25/2020
Last Maryland win: 57-50 at Maryland on 1/18/2020
Coach: Mark Turgeon (212-107 on 10th season at Maryland, 462-266 overall)
When here two teams met in Mackey it ended up being a critical game for Purdue. Eric Ayala missed a last second three to tie and Purdue held on for its second conference win of the year. Maryland came in at 5-2 with a lot of promise, but they have been all over the map since.
Perhaps the strangest thing for the Terrapins is that they are winless at home in Big Ten play. Normally the Xfinity Center is one of the toughest places to play in the league. This year they have lost by 14 to Rutgers, 11 to Michigan, 22 to Iowa, and 6 to Wisconsin. For more fun, they have three of the best road wins in league play. They won at Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. If you can figure this team out, good luck.
The game in Mackey was a “Purdue survives” game. The Boilers had an excellent first half and led 41-28 at the break. The Terms began chipping away in the second half and even got within a point a couple of times. Ayala’s layup with 3:38 left made it 65-64 Purdue and the Boilers appeared to be in trouble, but Trevion Williams converted a three-point play on the next possession after a huge offensive rebound.
Donta Scott then tied it at 70 with 58 seconds left, but Eric Hunter Jr. scored on a controversial goal-tend call with 38 seconds left to give Purdue the lead right back. Darryl Morsell missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left, Tre added a free throw after the rebound, and Ayala missed a three with five seconds left. Hunter was fouled and missed both free throws with a second left, but thankfully the Terrapins were 90 feet from the basket when they rebounded it.
It was a very balanced game for Maryland. They had four players in double figures, but Purdue did the same led by Brandon Newman (your reigning B1G Freshman of the Week) with 17. Purdue shot 45% from three and only got five from Sasha Stefanovic, who will miss his third straight game. Maryland’s big there of Ayala, Scott, and Aaron Wiggins were right at their averages, so it was a pretty typical game for Maryland.
I expect another close one as Maryland is a good team that is probably a little desperate at the moment. If they lose a fifth home game and drop to 3-8 in conference play that might be it for their NCAA Tournament hopes. The back half of their schedule is favorable too, with only Ohio State as a top 25 team in their last nine after playing Purdue. They have been struggling to score as they rate 13th in the league at 71.4 points er game. In conference play they re just over 64 per game.
Purdue is hot on the road right now, but as we know, nothing is given. Now that Purdue is in the top 25 the next step is to stay there by winning a game like this. Maryland is a bit wounded, but will not go down without a fight.