COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland’s win over Wisconsin on Jan. 9 is remembered most for Melo Trimble’s heorics -- a last- second launch from well beyond the three-point line that gave the Terrapins a 63-60 victory.
But few remember what necessitated that shot.
With 1:18 to play in that game in Madison, two free throws by Robert Carter, Jr. gave Maryland an eight-point lead. The Terrapins, typically among the nation’s best close-out teams over the past two seasons, would go on to miss the front-ends of two one-and-ones. Layup, three, and three by Wisconsin? Game was suddenly tied.
Then Trimble bailed them out.
“As a coach, you’re a perfectionist and you’re upset the way the last 1:15 went, but you’re relieved that you won the game,” head coach Mark Turgeon said on Friday.
“It’s a lot more fun to learn when you win than learn when you lose, so his shot allowed us to learn a lot about ourselves with a victory.”
Since that point, Maryland has improved even more on its record in games decided by six points or fewer. They are now 19-2.
Turgeon said that it almost feels as if these are two different teams now, being that Maryland has improved so much defensively and Wisconsin comes into this game riding a six-game winning streak.
A lot can change in just a month.
“We’re more mature. We played on the road,” Trimble said. “It was a tough environment and I think once we play here at Maryland, if a situations happens like that again we’ll be able to control at the end of the game.”