Maryland got a much needed win, as they topped a very good Northwestern team on the road 74-64 thanks in large to Melo Trimble’s career-night. The junior guard scored a career-high 32 points on 17 shots in 32 minutes.
Trimble shot 12-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three point range. His first points came with a three, as he built Maryland’s early lead to 9-2 in the game’s first three minutes. But Trimble used his speed and superb handles to get into the lane and attack the rim. He shot 7-of-9 from inside the paint.
Trimble’s breakout came on the heels of him being in a huge slump. He was 11-of-39 (28.2 percent) from the field in his last three games, including shooting 2-of-14 from three. Not only did he break the ice, he stayed warm throughout the game, attacking and not being forced out of his comfort.
You think Turgeon was relieved to see Trimble step into his first shot and knock down a three? Second make in his past 13 tries.
— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) February 16, 2017
Northwestern had no answer on defense as they struggled to stay in front of Trimble all night. There was no preventing him from taking whatever shot he wanted. It was a pleasant sight to see, as Trimble played with a level of aggression uncommon for him.
Melo Trimble’s really attacking the rim off the dribble and off screens tonight. He has 18 of Maryland’s 39 points. pic.twitter.com/ouhn1gKhpt
— Ryan Connors (@RyanConnors_) February 16, 2017
Melo is so fantastic at laying the ball in with just enough spin to roll in on layups. Does it so there’s a lesser chance he’s blocked.
— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) February 16, 2017
Northwestern could not answer him on the offensive end either. The Wildcats were without their leading scorer Scott Lindsey, who missed his fourth straight game with mono. As Trimble and the Terrapins were scoring with ease, shooting 50 percent from the field, Northwestern struggled to put the ball in the rim, shooting 32 percent from the field in the first half and finished the game making 5-of-22 (22.7%) on three pointers.
Maryland improves to 22-4 overall and 10-3 in the Big Ten, 1/2 game behind Wisconsin for first place in the conference. The Terrapins now have won back-to-back games after losing to Penn State and Purdue to start the month of February. Mark Turgeon’s team missed a golden opportunity to prove themselves for a top-16 seed, but by faltering with an unimpressive schedule, Maryland was on the outside looking in.
A win over Northwestern (19-7, 8-5 in Big Ten) helps its cause, as the Wildcats came into the game sitting fourth in the Big Ten standings. The win was by far the Terrapins biggest of the season. Now they turn their sights on first place as they travel to Madison to face the conference’s top team Wisconsin on Sunday. The Big Ten is in a down year, and the committee stamped the notion last weekend. Chances are the league only produces one top-16 seed, and the winner of Sunday’s clash would certainly have the leg up on other candidate Purdue.