Trimble, Sulaimon lead Maryland over Northwestern 72-59
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) No need to rally this time. No. 4 Maryland asserted itself early and breezed to an easy victory.
Melo Trimble scored 24 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 16 and the Terrapins beat Northwestern 72-59 on Saturday night.
Trimble scored 17 points in the second half. Sulaimon had 13 in the first, helping the Terrapins (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) grab a 40-20 lead on the way to their seventh straight victory.
They also gave coach Mark Turgeon his 100th victory in five seasons at Maryland and snapped a 10-game winning streak for Northwestern (13-2, 1-1).
It was just what the Terrapins wanted after they had to rally in the second half to beat Penn State on Wednesday. Turgeon said players ''were kind of walking on eggshells'' after that game.
He mostly showed his team the positives when they watched video of that game and didn't push them too hard in practice because he wanted to build their energy.
''They wanted to kind of redeem themselves,'' Turgeon said. ''Coming in here, they're 13-1, they're undefeated at home. It kind of gets your attention, to be dialed in.''
Sulaimon was 6 of 9 from the field and 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. Trimble hit five 3s - four in the second half - to go with eight rebounds and eight assists.
Bryant McIntosh led the Wildcats with 17 points. He also had nine assists, an impressive number considering Northwestern hit just 22 of 59 shots and was 2 of 20 on 3-pointers. Coach Chris Collins said his team was a bit jittery playing a championship contender in front of a capacity crowd, but a bigger factor was Maryland's defense.
He and Turgeon said the Terrapins guarded as well as they have all season.
''I was pretty nervous before this game,'' Trimble said. ''I saw how well they were shooting the ball and how well they run their plays. We just went out there and outplayed them.''
Diamond Stone scored 10 points after setting a setting a Maryland freshman record with 39 points against Penn State on Wednesday, and the Terrapins made it look easy against an opponent that came in on a big roll.
The only other double-digit win streak for Northwestern was a 12-game run by the 1930-31 team.
''Guys are disappointed, it's never fun to lose,'' Collins said. ''But listen, we got to move forward. Like I told the guys, somebody may prove me wrong (but) I don't see anyone going 18-0 in our league. The way we see it, you have 18 opportunities. We had one tonight. We got beat by a really good team.''
Whether they were beating the Wildcats off the dribble or with quick passes, the Terrapins wasted little time ripping the suspense out of this one.
They were up 20 at halftime after shooting 50 percent, with Sulaimon leading the way. The senior hit all five field goals, nailing three 3-pointers.
Northwestern also had trouble shaking a disruptive defense and shot just 8 of 25 - 1 of 8 on 3s - in the half.
Maryland was already leading by 11 when Stone threw down a put-back dunk off a missed layup by Jake Layman. Trimble, who missed 6 of 7 3s in the half, buried one. And Sulaimon wrapped two more 3s around a dunk by Northwestern's Joey van Zegeren as Maryland bumped the lead to 36-16 with 2:22 left.
Sulaimon spent his first three seasons at Duke and Collins helped recruit him to play there. The two spoke before and after the game and had kind words for each other.
''He just told me he was proud of me and to keep my head up and keep going,'' Sulaimon said. ''I told him he has a great team and I looked forward to playing against him again.''
Collins said he's ''really proud'' of Sulaimon. ''He's got this second opportunity to be really good. He's got a great role on this team and I'm happy for him.''
Maryland: The Terrapins' only loss was to North Carolina on Dec. 1. ... Sulaimon and Trimble - Maryland's starting guards - combined for 14 assists and one turnover.
Northwestern: The Wildcats' only other loss was to North Carolina in Kansas City on Nov. 23. ... Northwestern has not beaten a team ranked fourth or higher since it knocked off Michigan State on Jan. 27, 1979.
Maryland hosts Rutgers on Wednesday night.
Northwestern hosts Ohio State on Wednesday night.