By Megan Smedley
The win streak is over. It stops at 27-straight wins at home. Maryland had not lost at home since December 3, 2014 against Virginia. That is, until tonight. Nothing went right for the Terps on Saturday night. Not one thing. Melo Trimble went 1-14 from the field, only a mere 7 percent. Diamond Stone received a contact technical, which could further result in a suspension. The team overall only shot 55 percent for free throws, easily their worst percentage of the season. It wasn’t the atmosphere that hurt the Terps. Fans waited in line for hours to get good seats for the annual flash mob. The crowd was one of the best this season. However, Maryland just could not seem to get in a rhythm on Saturday.
“I didn’t have our guys ready,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “It’s the first time I’ve felt like our offense affected our defense. It was just one of those nights.”
“I just felt like we came out with our foot in the mud,” said senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon. “We were slow to everything…We just didn’t play as well as we could’ve and as well as we’ve been playing lately.”
With the usual lineup, Maryland started off strong. Rasheed Sulaimon sunk two threes and Jake Layman had three blocks within the first couple of minutes in the game. The Terps went on a 9-0 run. But things quickly changed. Wisconsin regained the lead, which they would keep for the remainder of the game, and went on a 23-2 scoring run. The Terps were scoreless for over eight minutes. Turnovers, missed shots, and missed rebounds limited opportunities for the Terps.
“We just could’ve put a little more pressure on them,” said Turgeon. “We just couldn’t make enough plays offensively.”
Melo Trimble missed a jumper with a minute left in the half when Diamond Stone went up for the rebound. The ball jumped around with players from both teams grabbing for it before it eventually went out of bounds. Diamond Stone started to get up, untangling himself from Wisconsin’s Vitto Brown when he was shoved from behind from Nigel Hayes. The shove caused Diamond to stumble, pushing his hand into Brown’s head. Wisconsin player, Charlie Thomas did not like that and started arguing with and shoving Stone. Benches cleared and coaches had to usher them back. After much deliberation, Stone was given a contact technical and Thomas was just given a technical.
“When you give your heart out in this game…emotions flare sometimes,” said Sulaimon about the Stone incident. “You get competitive and things happen. We had a conversation about it and he’s going to grow and he’s going learn and he’s going to be better going forward.”
Coach Turgeon said he did not see the interaction when it happened so he did not say anything to Stone at halftime. The Terps went into the locker room angry and down 21-36. They only shot 33 percent but Rasheed Sulaimon led the team with nine points.
Maryland started the second half frustrated, full of heart and having something to prove. Robert Carter collected a rebound and sprinted down the court for a slam-dunk.
“The second half, we were at the park playing basketball,” said Turgeon.
Diamond Stone started off on the bench but returned to block Vitto Brown’s layup. Jake Layman set a play, which he doesn’t do enough of, resulting in a Diamond dunk. Things quickly went downhill with Wisconsin controlling the pace of the game. Jared Nickens and Robert Carter both got into foul trouble. Melo Trimble seemed to have been fouled multiple times but nothing was called. The Terps couldn’t capitalize on open opportunities. The 13-point loss is the Terps largest deficit of the season. With this loss, the Terps fall to 22-4 overall and 10-3 in the Big 10.
“We’ll watch film,” said Sulaimon. “We’ll get better from this and next time we’re faced with a situation like this, we’ll handle it tons better.”
They travel to Minnesota for a Thursday night game and then return home for a Sunday afternoon game against Michigan.