Terps squeak past Kansas State 69-68 in Barclays Center Classic final

By: Johnny Moseman

The Maryland men’s basketball squeaked out another close victory behind the heroics of Melo Trimble, beating Kansas State 69-68 in the Barclays Center Classic championship.

It was the Trimble show for the Terps tonight, again. They needed Trimble to facilitate on offense, but after Kansas State took the lead with five minutes left, the Terrapins needed his scoring ability. Trimble cut the lead to one with 20.1 seconds left after converting an easy right handed lay up. Then Kansas State’s Wesley Iwundu missed the first free throw on a one-and-one and Trimble had the ball with 15 seconds left.

Trimble then did what Trimble does best and beat his man off the dribble and got to the hoop. He converted a left-handed, contested lay-up over a Kansas State defender. He was also fouled on that lay-up but missed the free throw to convert on the and-one.

Kansas State had one more chance to take the lead on a buzzer beater but they could not make the long jumper inside the arc.

Trimble finished with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, but he did have three turnovers and struggled to get to the free throw line. Michal Cekovsky was also huge for Maryland tonight, scoring 16 points and 8 rebounds. Damonte Dodd did play tonight after missing the last two games with a concussion.

Maryland looked a lot more comfortable and energized in the first half of tonight’s game. They went into the break up 35-29. They opened up shooting better than last night’s 0-10 three point shooting performance.

Kansas State’s D.J. Johnson took over down the stretch of the game for the Wildcats, scoring 26 points and grabbing 8 rebounds, including a big offensive rebound with about a minute left to give them possession back in tonight’s game.

Trimble was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and Justin Jackson was selected to the All Tournament team.

The Terrapins move to 7-0 and are back in action Tuesday night in College Park for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge when they play Pittsburgh.