Melo Trimble scored a career-high 32 points on 12-for-17 shooting, and No. 23 Maryland strengthened its position in the Big Ten with a 74-64 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
Trimble repeatedly came up with big plays for the Terrapins (22-4, 10-3), driving inside for layups or connecting from long range. The junior guard made four of Maryland's eight 3-pointers and also contributed four rebounds.
Anthony Cowan added 13 points and Damonte Dodd had 12 as Maryland moved into a tie with Purdue for second in the conference, just a half-game behind Wisconsin. The Terrapins visit the Badgers on Sunday.
Northwestern (19-7, 8-5) was coming off a big 66-59 win at Wisconsin last Sunday, boosting its chances for the first NCAA Tournament appearance in the history of the program. But it got off to a slow start offensively and never recovered against Trimble and the poised Terrapins.
The Wildcats whittled a 20-point deficit to nine on Sanjay Lumpkin's layup with 3:16 left. But Dodd responded with a rebound basket and the Terrapins closed it out at the free throw line.
Freshman Isiah Brown led Northwestern with a career-high 19 points. Vic Law had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Dererk Pardon finished with 11 points.
The Wildcats played without Scottie Lindsey, who was sidelined by mononucleosis for the fourth straight game. The 6-foot-5 junior, who leads the Wildcats with 15.4 points per game, is day to day.
With Lindsey out and Bryant McIntosh battling foul trouble, Northwestern struggled to score against Maryland's suffocating defense. The Wildcats heated up a bit in the second half but shot 39 percent (23 for 59) for the game.
Maryland: Trimble and the Terrapins appear to be back on track after consecutive losses to Purdue and Penn State at the beginning of February. Maryland stopped the slide with an 86-77 victory over Ohio State on Saturday, and then stepped up with a composed effort against a Northwestern team looking for another signature win for its resume.
Northwestern: The Wildcats miss Lindsey, but they also hurt themselves against the Terrapins. They went 13 for 23 at the free throw line.
Maryland visits No. 11 Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon.
Northwestern hosts last-place Rutgers on Saturday.