Despite a sold-out student section, all dressed in white, Maryland started out this game like their prior games, with cold shooting.
The Terps started the game 0-8 from the field as the Bruins jumped to a 7-0 lead.
No. 20 Maryland men’s basketball’s (8-3, B1G 1-1) cold start doomed the team as they fell to No. 16 UCLA (9-2, PAC 2-0), 87-60, suffering their third straight loss and largest loss of the season. The Terps go 1-3 in one of their brutalist stretches of the season.
“This was the first time all season that we just didn’t have a lot of energy on the defensive end and they took advantage of it,” head coach Kevin Willard said.
Terps guard Ian Martinez got the crowd going, sinking a three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock to break UCLA’s run five minutes into the game.
“We have been playing a lot of games so it has been physically and mentally taxing,” guard Don Carey said. “We just got to get tougher…and get better.”
The crowd was electric in the first half whenever the Terps scored one of their eight field goals, but the Terps could not give their fans a repeat of their performance in the Gold Rush game.
The Terps struggled to get going in the first half, turning the ball over 11 times in the first half on ten Bruins steals. The Bruins used that to create large scoring runs of 17-4 and 14-2 to build a 49-20 point lead at halftime.
UCLA turned Maryland’s 11 first-half turnovers into 17 points.
“We weren’t making the right reads and that’s what gave them the opportunity to take advantage of it because we basically put the ball in their hands,” forward Donta Scott said.
Maryland had no answer for the 36th-highest-scoring offense in the country. Guards Jaime Jaquez, Davi Singleton, and Jaylen Clark each scored at least 12 points in the first half. Singleton was perfect from the field in the first half and was a spark off the bench for the Bruins shooting 4-5 from beyond the arc and finishing the game with 18 points.
Maryland started the second half cold, as well as the Bruins, went on a 12-4 run highlighted by two Singleton three-pointers and two of Bruins forward Adem Bona’s four dunks.
That 12-4 run grew UCLA’s lead to 37 points at the 14:46 mark in the second half. During that timeout, some boos started to come from the fans, and the mass exodus of students and fans started.
The Terps heated up from beyond the arc midway through the second half, with Martinez and Donta Scott knocking down three-pointers on three straight possessions, but the 37-point lead was too much for Maryland to overcome.
Martinez and Scott were the lone bright spot for Maryland, shooting a combined 6 of 11 from beyond the arc. Martinez led Maryland with 16 points off the bench, while Scott scored 12.
The Bruins shot 58.9% from the field, playing good basketball, only turning the ball over four times as UCLA earned their first win of the season against a ranked opponent.
The Terps will now enter their eight-day break before playing Saint Peters on December 22.
“So far we have played good basketball,” Willard said. “We’ll get back to playing good basketball, just a little bit of adversity right now.”