Men’s Basketball Falls to Maryland for Eighth Loss in B1G Conference
The Penn State men’s basketball team (14-9, 2-8 B1G) was not the typical team that many were used to seeing on Wednesday night at the XFINITY Center. Going head to head against the 17th ranked Maryland Terrapins (19-4, 7-3 B1G), the Nittany Lions held their own and were able to put together 40 solid minutes of basketball, but once again fell just short, losing 64-58 in College Park.
“Coach has been on us about playing hard and playing like we did in the beginning of the season and that’s what we did,” said Maryland senior guard Dez Wells.
Wells was a physical and emotional spark for the Terrapins, finishing with 23 points along with 6 rebounds. However, he was not the only person making big plays when they mattered most for the Terps.
Former Penn Stater Jon Graham was able to put up a career-high 16 points for Maryland. Head coach Mark Turgeon said Graham gave the entire team, “a good lift.”
In spite of thrilling performances from Wells and Graham, Penn State came out like a team that was hungry for a win. Early scoring from D.J. Newbill (18 points) and Geno Thorpe (10 points) allowed the Nittany Lions to head into the half down just one.
Newbill and Thorpe each did a good job of attacking the basket and getting to the foul line. Turnovers killed Maryland early on which also helped to keep the Nittany Lions in the game.
Unlike previous games, Maryland freshman and leading scorer Melo Trimble had a silent first half with a measly two points, shooting 0-3 from the field. Trimble stepped up in a different way for Maryland and became a key offensive playmaker in the second half with eight of the team’s nine assists.
Along with Trimble, junior Jake Layman struggled to find his rhythm throughout the 40 minutes. He finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Starting off slow in the second half, Penn State earned its first lead since the final minute of play in the first half, with 9:43 left to play. Critical three-point shots by Brandon Taylor (9 points) who sat for much of the first half, allowed the Nittany Lions to pull within one with just under 1:30 to play.
Geno Thorpe and Jordan Dickerson’s late foul trouble allowed Wells and Trimble to knock down free throws that would eventually seal the deal for Terps.
It came down to the fundamentals for Penn State. Two lane violations on Maryland free throws and a five-second call on a Ross Travis inbound led the Terrapins to a six point victory.
“I thought our execution down the stretch was great,” said Turgeon.
The Nittany Lions host the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Tia Pattillo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com