Road Woes Continue for Boilers at Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Purdue gave it a shot Saturday in trying to get a Big Ten road win. But, much like stretches of the game against Maryland, the Boilers couldn't hit it.
Maryland won 59-50, getting off to a hot start and then shutting down Purdue down the stretch. Purdue is now 10-8 overall, and 3-4 in the Big Ten, with all four losses coming on the road. Maryland is 14-4 and 4-3 in the league, going 4-0 at home in league games and 11-0 overall at the Xfinity Center.
Maryland had lost two straight on the road, so they were zoned it to get back on track at home. They jumped all over the Boilermakers early, racing out to a 20-4 lead. The lead got to 17 at one point, and Maryland led 36-20 at the break.
"Maryland just lost two games. From a human behavior standpoint, you think they're not going to be ready to play?" Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "You think they're not more comfortable in their own arena? You've just got to find a way."
That was hard to do, but they certainly tried.
Purdue kept picking away at the lead in the second half. When Boilermakers sophomore Sasha Stefanovic was fouled on a 3-point attempt, he converted all three free three to put Purdue within three points at 53-50 with 3:52 to go.
But Purdue wouldn't score again the rest of the way. The missed all five shots and had a turnover in its final six possessions of the game.
“We came out slow in the second half,” said Maryland Jalen Smith, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds. “Coach (Mark) Turgeon reminded us at halftime to not do that, and we just let it slip, but [we] recovered, tried to hold them off as best as we could.”
Smith was also great on the defensive end, keeping Purdue's Trevion Williams and Matt Haarms in check most of the day. “It’s amazing what he’s doing,” Turgeon said. Williams and Haarms scored just 12 combined points in 43 total minutes.
It was another difficult game offensively for Purdue. They shot just 35 percent from the field and made just 3-of-17 3-point attempts. Nojel Eastern scored 14 points for Purdue, and Eric Hunter Jr. added 10.
Purdue got back into the game with great defense. Maryland shot just 28 percent in the second half, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range. Maryland was 7-for-15 from onbg range in the first half.
"You can probably give them more credit than they deserve in the first half, and give us more credit than we deserve in the second half," a frustrated Matt Painter said after the game.