After squandering a double-digit lead in the 67-65 loss to Nebraska on New Year’s day, the Maryland men’s basketball team closed the deal on Saturday evening against Michigan. The Terrapins got 15 points from both Damonte Dodd and Justin Jackson to put away the Wolverines, 77-70, in their first true road test of the year.
Maryland (14-2, 2-1 Big Ten play) led by as many as 11 in the first half, 37-26 with 1:30 left until the intermission, when Kevin Huerter drilled a 3-pointer off an assist from Melo Trimble. Outside of the first 1 minute and 10 seconds, the Terrapins never trailed in the first half, and staked a 37-28 halftime lead.
Michigan opened the second half on a 6-0 burst to draw the game to 37-34. It took Maryland 3 minutes and 19 seconds to score their first point in the second half, when Trimble sank the front end of two free throws to give the Terrapins a 38-34 lead.
The Wolverines drew to within one, 38-37, before Jared Nickens (12 points on 4 of 4 shooting from deep) buried a 3-pointer to push Maryland’s lead to 41-37 at the 14:24 mark. Nickens’ 3-point basket was the first Maryland field goal of the second half.
Michigan toyed with Maryland for most of the second half, but every time the Wolverines threatened, the Terrapins responded.
When it was a two-point game, 43-41 with 12:54 to go, L.G. Gill’s free throw and Trimble’s 3-ball extended Maryland’s lead to six. After Michigan’s Zak Irvin’s answered on the ensuing possession with a 3-point basket, Nickens connected on a 3-pointer to pad Maryland’s lead, 50-44.
Soon after Irvin cut Maryland’s lead to 57-55, the Terrapins powered ahead with a 5-0 spurt out of a timeout on an Ivan Bender lay-in and an Anthony Cowan 3-pointer.
Then, when Michigan threatened for one final time, drawing to 71-68 with 1:14 to go, the Terrapins went on a 6-2 advantage in the closing minute powered by Jackson’s jumper and two free throws, and two Cowan free throws.
Maryland shot 51.9 percent (28-for-54) overall and 66.7 percent (1o-for-15) from deep. Trimble finished with 13 points (2 of 4 from deep), six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Cowan added nine points, five rebounds and four assists.
Huerter, coming off a scoring barrage against Nebraska (26 points on 7 of 11 from deep), chipped in with six points on 2-for-5 shooting from behind the arc.
Maryland will host Indiana on Tuesday, January 10, at 9:00 pm at the Xfinity Center.