Young’s 31 comes with little help, Terps drop pivotal game at Michigan State

Maryland and Michigan State were locked into a contested battle in the final six minutes of the game. The Spartans held a one-point advantage after a pair of free throws from Maryland guard Jahari Long. The next Spartan possession Tre Holloman found Malik Hall at the three-point line and the one-point lead quickly grew to four. 

Hall scored six straight points sparking a 12-0 Spartan scoring run that gave them a 13-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game. The run was too much to overcome as the Michigan State Spartans (14-8, 6-5 Big Ten) defeated the Maryland Terrapins (13-9, 5-6 Big Ten), 63-54, Saturday evening.

Hall finished the game with 19 points tying Tyson Walker for the team lead. 14 of Hall’s 19 points came in the second half in which he shot 75% from the floor and seven of nine from the free throw line. 

Maryland kept the game close up until the Hall inspired run, even grabbing the lead for the first time at the 7:15 mark.

“Those guys battled, I mean, we got it back to, took the lead, 43-42. We had a wide open three, when we’re down one, but then you know the fatigue came in,” said head coach Kevin Willard. “We gave up two huge offensive rebounds that kind of sealed the deal.”

The Terps shot under 31% from the floor in the second half and made only two of their 13 three-point attempts. Jahmir Young led Maryland in scoring with 31 and Donta Scott was the only other Terp to score in double figures with 13. The rest of the Terrapins combined for 10 points on three of 14 shooting. Maryland’s bench contributed only two points (Long’s free throws) after scoring 25 against Nebraska last game. 

“We haven’t practiced a whole lot with Jordan [Geronimo] at the five spot. We had a couple things and, you know, we just got really stagnant on the offensive end because we just didn’t, a lot of the stuff that we could do with Ju [Reese], we couldn’t do,” said Willard. 

The second half resembled the second half of when the two teams first met this season, two games ago in College Park. The Terps fell behind early in that game giving up 44 points in the first half. The Terps held the Spartans to 17 points in the second half, but the comeback effort fell short. 

Maryland did improve on its past performance, holding Michigan State to 31 points in the first half of this game. Walker led the Spartans in scoring with 12 points at half contributing to the Spartans’ 48.1% shooting from the field. The Terps offense struggled only shooting 31.3% from the floor. 

Maryland spent most of the first half without big man Julian Reese. Reese received his second personal foul with over 17 minutes left to play in the half and was replaced with sophomore Caelum Swanton-Rodger. 

The Spartans took advantage, going on a 7-0 scoring run and earning a nine point lead prompting a Maryland timeout. Reese returned to the game later in the first half, but with 7:04 remaining in the half, the junior center recorded his third foul causing him to sit the remainder of the first half. Despite the absence of Reese the Terps went into the break only trailing by four. 

Reese started the second half, but within eight seconds he made his way back to the bench after collecting his fourth foul. Reese ended the game with two points playing a total of 14 minutes.

“The fouls on Ju [Reese] really changed the game,” said Willard. 

The loss ends a two game winning streak for Maryland that started after its first loss to Michigan State in January. The Terrapins will look to start another winning streak on Tuesday when Rutgers comes to College Park.