By: Joe Catapano
Melo Trimble entered Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern in a shooting slump, hitting 30.7 percent (16-for-52) of his shots over Maryland’s last four games.
The junior not only broke free of his poor stretch, but set a new career-high with 32 points in Maryland’s 74-64 win over the Wildcats.
The last time Trimble made more than five field goals in a game was on Jan. 28 in the Terrapin’s 85-78 win over Minnesota; he sunk five shots on seven attempts in just the first half against Northwestern.
Trimble not only got to the rim to convert his layups, but he made both his 3-point attempts in the first half. With the help of an aggressive defense, Maryland led by 10 points at the break behind Trimble’s 13 first-half points.
But Trimble was just getting started, as his great first half carried over into a monstrous second half.
Trimble finished the game with 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting behind a combination of nifty layups and nothing-but-net 3-pointers. Northwestern couldn’t find a solution to his hot hand.
But Trimble wasn’t the only Terrapin who shot well. As a team, Maryland shot 50 percent from the field, including 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Anthony Cowan and Damonte Dodd each contributed in double-figures to assist Trimble’s terrific night.
On the defensive end, Maryland held the Wildcats to 39 percent from the floor.
The key to Maryland’s defensive success was stopping Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh. The guard played in all 40 minutes in the Wildcats’ win against No. 7 Wisconsin on Sunday, scoring 25 points and recording seven rebounds and seven assists.
McIntosh was held in check, scoring just nine points on 3-of-13 shooting. He picked up three fouls early in the game, which limited his playing time and allowed Maryland to gain its 10-point lead by end of the first half.
Maryland led by as much as 20 points with 7:28 left to play, but Northwestern wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Wildcats cut the Terrapin lead to nine with three minutes left to go, but Maryland’s great shooting night was too much to overcome.
Maryland will look to bring its hot shooting to Madison this Sunday, where the Terrapins will face No. 11 Wisconsin in a game with Big Ten postseason implications.