Just when there was hope for Wisconsin, battling back to tie the game, 60-60, with under a minute to play in Madison, Maryland sophomore guard Melo Trimble slammed the brakes on a potential Badger upset.
After a game-tying three by the Badgers, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon declined to call a timeout before the team's final possession and instead let his best player, Trimble, just play. Wisconsin guard Zak Showalter gave him enough of a cushion as time was winding down and he pulled up from just inside the “W” that stretches across mid-court with 1.2 seconds to play and he nailed it.
Maryland escaped with a 63-60 victory on the back of Trimble’s 21 points, five assists, and clutch shot-making down the stretch.
Here are 5 things you need to know.
1) Diamond Stone greeted by boos
As expected, Wisconsin native and long-time Badger target Diamond Stone was booed when he entered the game on Saturday in Madison and booed every subsequent time that he touched the basketball.
To his credit, he handled it pretty well. Though he missed his first jump shot (which was followed by cheers from the crowd), he followed up with a nice move off the pick-and-roll for a layup and another jumper.
He had those four points at the half, but had to sit the final five minutes of the first with two fouls.
2) Pace is slow
This is Wisconsin’s style. It won’t change. They make you defend for almost all 30 seconds and then manufacture some sort of shot. The result is a game that does not feel rushed -- so long as you don’t allow it to rush you. Maryland kept its cool in the first half, thanks largely to Melo Trimble’s coolness.
The sophomore point guard calmly surveyed the game, making some beautiful passes to teammates out of pick-and-roll sets while taking it himself on other occasions. He almost single-handedly make Damonte Dodd into a first-half All-American, dishing to him for easy finishes. Dodd had 9 points and 6 rebounds at the half.
3) Because of that pace, it’s always a game
Maryland seemed to be solidly in control with 6:46 to go, up seven points at 26-19. But that was because of the slow pace and low scoring output. Wisconsin responded with a 6-0 run in two minutes to make it a one-point game.
That is how games against Wisconsin can work. A nearly double-digit lead can slip away if you lose focus on two or three defensive or offensive possessions. Maryland held a 36-32 lead at the break.
4) Struggling offensively out of the break
Maryland started the second half 0-of-5 from the floor. Wisconsin’s defense was smothering, not allowing touches inside the paint. A Robert Carter, Jr., stretch began to open things up, though. He hit a three off a pick-and-roll with Trimble, then had a nice floater in the lane.
Wisconsin fought back and took a one-point lead, 47-46, with 10:01 to play.
5) Melo Trimble, the closer
Melo Trimble is like prime Mariano Rivera. You know he's coming. You know what he's gonna do. There’s still not much you can do about it.
With Maryland trailing by one point, he took it upon himself to go on a person 10-1 run to flip that into an eight-point Terrapins lead in the span of 2:10. Credit head coach Mark Turgeon, too. Out of a timeout with that one-point deficit, there were two straight possessions where Maryland ran nothing but screens for Trimble trying to get him open for a look from three.
He hit on the second possession and that got things rolling.
Not only that, but he followed the 10-1 run up with a beautiful pocket pass to Diamond Stone off a pick-and-roll for a dunk that extended the lead. As Wisconsin fought back, Trimble seemed to be plotting his next time to strike.
On the game’s final possession, he did, hitting the enormous shot to cap it.