Maryland’s Late Game Execution Dooms Them at Mackey Arena

By: Eddie Hobbs

Too often in Thursday night’s 62-60 loss to the Boilermakers, Maryland found themselves stagnant on the offensive side of the ball in the final minutes of play. Players were waiting outside of the 3-point arc, watching, as the shot clock would wind down and a wild attempt would follow.

After a Jalen Smith jumper with 4:20 remaining went through the net to cut Purdue’s lead to 59-56, neither team would make another field goal attempt the rest of the way.

Maryland’s defense and rebounding did enough to help them have a chance in this game. Purdue’s two leading scorers, Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline, were held to 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. Maryland out-rebounded the Boilermakers 39-29, and 16 of those rebounds came on the offensive glass.

The late game execution costed Maryland dearly, as the defense got stops, but the offense struggled. And that seems like something that has been a trend in recent years, especially on the road in the Big Ten, where Maryland is 4-10 in its last 14 games within the conference.

4:20 2ND HALF

Smith initially sets a screen for Darryl Morsell, and Cline thinks the ball will be going to Morsell on the perimeter. As Anthony Cowan brings the ball up the court, he brings the ball over to Aaron Wiggins on the other side of the court. This causes Grady Eifert to lose sight of Smith who sneaks to the top of the key for a deep jumper that finds the bottom of the net.

3:40 2ND HALF

Maryland’s defense stifles Edwards and forces him to take a contested deep 3-pointer that clangs off the back rim. Bruno Fernando secures the rebound and gives it to Cowan who makes his way up the court in a hurry.

A fast-paced game plays into the Terps’ hands, and this could have been a turning point. Instead, miscommunication between Cowan and Morsell give the ball right back to Purdue; the turnover was their seventh of the half.

2:40 2ND HALF

On the inbounds play here, Morsell has the ball at the top of the key. Maryland eventually gets the ball back to Cowan, after Turgeon calls a play from the sideline. The Terps run the same play they’ve run in the last few possessions, with Smith trying to get open at the top of the key.

This time, Purdue recognizes the play, and Aaron Wheeler is able to get a hand in Smith’s face. The ball goes back out to Cowan, who then dribbled for about nine seconds before the shot clock begins to run out. Hastily, Cowan goes over a Fernando screen and attempts a tough shot over a taller defender and he doesn’t get it to go.

2:01 2ND HALF

Edwards missed an open shot right by the rim, giving Maryland another chance to cut into Purdue’s lead with under two minutes remaining in the game. Cowan brings the ball up the court, but dribbles out about half of the shot clock before Morsell and Cowan pass the ball back and forth at the top of the key.

It looks like Maryland runs the same play twice with Morsell coming over a Smith screen, but neither work as a Purdue defender is there twice. Morsell eventually passes it out to Wiggins on the wing, but with just seven seconds remaining on the shot clock, he must create something out of nothing.

He ends up drawing a double team and attempts a pass out to Fernando, but Edwards gets a hand on the ball and forces a turnover.

:43.3 2ND HALF

After Cline missed a 3-point attempt, Maryland called a timeout to go over a set inbound play. While everything was in motion, Cowan gets tripped up by a Purdue defender and luckily for Maryland, they are able to retain possession of the ball.

It looked like Morsell was trying to get a pick on a Purdue player and quickly drift back to the other side of the court for an open shot. Not sure if it was going to be a 3-point attempt, but he would have been wide open if the play had worked.

Morsell is just an 18 percent 3-point shooter this year, but with the broken play, what Maryland was looking to do is unclear. With the remaining time on the shot clock, Cowan gives the ball to Fernando down low who eventually kicks it back out to Cowan. A contested 3-point attempt is what follows.

:13.0 2ND HALF

Purdue makes 1-of-2 at the line and Maryland gets the rebound and pushes it up the court with under 20 seconds remaining. Cowan drives to the basket and gets fouled on the floor which results in an inbounds play, and Maryland takes a timeout.

Fernando gets the ball and hands it off to Cowan who looks like he will rise up for a contested 3-pointer, but gives the ball to Eric Ayala on the wing. Ayala swings it back to Cowan who gets fouled before he can put up a 3-pointer, and goes to the line for a 1-and-1.

It didn’t really seem like there was a play here besides give the ball to Cowan and let him shoot. All of Maryland’s players are standing around the 3-point line and letting Cowan do it himself.

:0.3 2ND HALF

Cowan rushes up the court and gets fouled by Edwards and is rewarded two free throws. He makes the first and purposely misses the second to give Maryland a chance to tip the ball in down two points with three seconds remaining. The ball goes off Edwards’ foot and it gives Maryland an extra possession to tie things up.

While the referees went to the monitor to check the play this essentially gave Maryland a free timeout because they were out of them by this point in the game. The play that Turgeon drew up looked to be a lob to Fernando at the rim, but was shut down by Matt Haarms. Morsell had to then give the ball to Cowan who attempted a tough fade-away 3-pointer that was blocked.

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