LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Maryland’s defense kept the team in a game Thursday night against Kansas that could have been out of hand much earlier. Following a Robert Carter, Jr. basket, plus the foul, the Terrapins were within striking distance -- eight points -- with 10:29 to play.
But in that final stretch, the door was slammed in Maryland’s face. The Kansas defense, ranked in the Top 10 nationally in efficiency, tightened its grip, which was compounded by the fact Maryland continued to be unable to hit shots to pair with their stops on the other end of the floor.
Maryland final 10:29 of game
Field Goals 2-of-10
Ultimately, Maryland had twice as many turnovers down the game’s final stretch as it did made field goals while shooting 20 percent from the floor.
“Kansas was terrific in the second half. We missed a couple shots we might make, but they had a lot to do with it,” head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “But I don't know if they changed anything. They were just continuing to do what they do. They might have wore us down a little bit.”
Teams that have beaten Kansas this season do so, in part, by hitting threes. Those teams didn’t shoot at Maryland-vs.-Nebraska levels of absurdity from deep, but they hovered around 45-50 percent on around 20 attempts per game.
By halftime, Maryland had hit just 2-of-12 threes. That made the Terrapins 3-of-30 from three over the past 60 minutes of basketball to that point. They were 5-of-25 for the game. Only a handful in meaningful minutes would likely have been called “bad” shots, too. Had even a few gone down, it would have been a different game.
Kansas’ stingy perimeter defense bothered guard Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon, who had carried the team in the first half. Kansas then dominated on the interior, outrebounding Maryland 22-8 after halftime.
“That’s what was expected. We didn’t really hit shots," Trimble said. "They didn’t make any shots really in the first half and we [weren’t] really a good rebounding team and it showed toward the end of the game where they just outrebounded us and that was the game.”