Maryland’s road woes continue in heartbreaking loss to Badgers

Photo credit: Maryland Athletics

Maryland kept it close for the first time on the road this season in its contest against Wisconsin. However, crucial mistakes in the final minutes led to the Terps falling short again on the road. 

In a back-and-forth contest, the Terps lost 54-56 in Madison in heartbreaking fashion. With its loss, Maryland continues its four-game losing streak on the road and will likely continue its freefall in national rankings. 

Early in the first half, Jalen Smith led Maryland’s scoring with a team-high seven points in just nine minutes. Despite Smith’s efforts, Maryland still struggled to keep up with Wisconsin’s scoring. The Badgers shot around the 50% range from the field for the majority of the half largely due to their ability to make tough shots. The defense for Maryland was there, but the experience and maturity of the Badgers was overbearing.

Wisconsin was in control for practically the entire first half but a timely three-pointer by Aaron Wiggins late in the first allowed the Terps to end the period with a manageable five-point deficit. Going into the half, Aaron Wiggins led the Terps in scoring with eight. Alongside him, Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith had seven. Outside of these three, Maryland has sustained little to no scoring. For the home team, Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter combined for 18 first half points. 

Down 30-25, Maryland entered the second half with strong defensive play. The Badgers were extremely reluctant to attack the basket, and the zone defense by the Terps was perfect in cooling down Wisconsin’s shooting. After opening up the half 0-of-4 from the field, the Badgers fell behind and lost their lead. A step back three by Cowan would put the Terps up for the second time all game and it would start a one-man seven-point run by the senior. 

After maintaining the lead for the bulk of the second half the Terps would lose it with a little over two minutes left to play. Maryland would quickly take this lead back thanks to the fancy footwork by Wiggins in the low post. On the ensuing possession, Cowan and Smith would connect on an emphatic lob to give the Terps a three-point lead. 

The Badgers would regain possession and cut the lead to one after an easy hook by Reuvers. With less than 15 seconds left, the Badgers would have to foul immediately after the Terps inbound play. However, the Badgers didn’t have to worry about fouling as poor ball placement by Darryl Morsell on the inbound would give possession right back to Wisconsin — and it would capitalize.

A quick double screen on the inbound for Wisconsin would give Brad Davison the chance to put the game away with a corner three. Davison drained the triple immediately off the catch and left 10 seconds for the Terps to make a play of their own. The final possession of the Terps resulted in a Cowan missed three, and Maryland fell short once again.