Thanks to a massive rebounding edge, Purdue held a decent scoring advantage throughout much of Saturday's game against Maryland.
But then the Terps turned on the press.
A late introduction of the full-court press tied the Boilermakers in knots, as the Terps — who had just gone down 10 when A.J. Hammons hit a 3 with about four minutes to play — forced five turnovers in a minute and a half to turn that 10-point deficit into a 76-all tie in a blink. It was a 12-2 run that in an instant switched what looked like a secure Purdue win into a complete tossup with two minutes to play.
But from there, Hammons hit a free throw, and then Dakota Mathias took the ball away from Diamond Stone, leading to a Johnny Hill layup, making it a three-point game. After Melo Trimble split a pair of free throws, Maryland forced the missed shot it needed, but Johnny Hill came up with a massive offensive rebound — perhaps the most important of a whopping 19 offensive boards for Purdue — and a fouled Rapheal Davis hit two free throws. Trimble hit two more free throws, but once Vince Edwards hit two of his own to make it a four-point game with a handful of seconds left, it was a done deal, the Boilers pulling out an 83-79 win in West Lafayette.
The Terps ended up scoring 22 points off 15 Boiler turnovers, but it was one of the few stat categories where Maryland had an advantage. Purdue destroyed on the boards, winning the rebounding battle, 41-22, with those 19 offensive rebounds turning into 24 second-chance points. After shooting a terrific 57.6 percent from the field in the first half, the Boilers still finished above 50 percent, shooting 51.7 percent on the game.
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Hammons led the way for the Boilers with 19 points. Mathias was huge off the bench, scoring 17 points, 12 of those coming in the first half. That scoring output matched a season high for Mathias. Edwards and Davis each finished with 11 points, and Caleb Swanigan had 10 points.
Trimble scored a team-high 19 points for the Terps. Stone added 18 points, Jake Layman scored 15 points and Jared Nickens had 10, hitting a trio of 3-pointers.
It was a huge win for No. 20 Purdue, which knocked off its second top-10 opponent since its last meeting with Maryland, a 72-61 win for the Terps in College Park. The Boilers improved to 22-7 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten with Saturday's win. There are two regular-season games remaining: against Nebraska on Tuesday and against Wisconsin next weekend.
Maryland, with its fifth conference loss, saw its Big Ten regular-season title hopes fade out of view, as those honors will now come down to Indiana and Iowa. The Terps have now lost three of their last four and fell to 23-6 overall and 11-5 in the conference with Saturday's loss. Maryland's two final regular-season games come Thursday against Illinois and next weekend against Indiana.