No. 7 Maryland (17-2, 6-1) withstood a charge from unranked Northwestern (15-5, 3-4) on Tuesday night to capture a 62-56 overtime victory at Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland, and remain undefeated at home this season. The Terps also stretched their overall home winning streak to 24 games with the win, per ESPN College Basketball on Twitter.
Maryland had a chance to close things out in regulation with the score knotted at 48, but a failed attempt as time expired sent the Big Ten battle to an extra session.
Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone ultimately allowed Maryland to pull away, but the Wildcats made Maryland's dynamic playmakers fight for every bucket Tuesday night. Trimble in particular struggled early before he made some brilliant passes down the stretch to preserve the Terps' perfect home record.
The sophomore finished with 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting—including 1-of-6 from three—and six assists, while Stone added nine points off the pine. Rasheed Sulaimon, who started alongside Trimble in the backcourt, missed all four of his shots from the field. His only two points came from the charity stripe in overtime.
Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis noted Northwestern's defensive tactics posed a problem for Maryland's vaunted scorers:
Seth Davis @SethDavisHoops
Maryland holds off Northwestern for the win. Wildcats' matchup zone D threw off the Terps all night. But one team had Melo, one team didn't.2016-1-20 03:25:33
Robert Carter served as the unsung hero for Maryland, tallying 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds on a night when the Terps shot just 43.8 percent from the field and 4-of-17 from three.
In fact, Carter was the lone bright spot on the glass for a Maryland team that was gashed by a tenacious Northwestern squad in the rebounding department.
As 247Sports' Jeff Ermann noted, Northwestern simply looked hungrier for the majority of Tuesday's contest:
Jeff Ermann @Jeff_Ermann
Northwestern looks like a team that knows it could end up earning its first NCAA berth since ever if it wins tonight. Scrapping hard.2016-1-20 03:04:58
The Wildcats out-rebounded Maryland, 42-31, and finished with a 17-4 edge on the offensive glass. Northwestern also thrived on chaos, forcing Maryland into 16 turnovers—nearly three more than the Terps' season-long average.
Despite picking up the loss, Northwestern showed some serious fight three days removed from a 71-62 defeat at the hands of Penn State. However, strong effort or not, it's hard to ignore the backslide the Wildcats have encountered.
Since starting 13-1, Northwestern has dropped three of its last five games. The two wins during that span came over Minnesota and Wisconsin. Unfortunately for head coach Chris Collins' squad, things won't be getting any easier.
Northwestern's next three games come against ranked conference opponents, with a showdown against No. 25 Indiana on Saturday initiating the brutal stretch. Following a tilt against the Hoosiers, the Wildcats will host No. 11 Michigan State before traveling to Iowa for a clash with the No. 9 Hawkeyes.
Maryland is slated for a similar stretch with back-to-back upcoming contests against Michigan State and Iowa, but the Terps are well-equipped to hold their own against the Big Ten's best.
"I haven't seen any team with more talent," Collins said of the Terrapins following the loss, per 247Sports.com's Josh Stirn.
And while Collins was heaping praise on the Terps, ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman had some kind words for the Wildcats:
Jeff Goodman @GoodmanESPN
Not pretty, but Maryland survives at home against Northwestern. Chris Collins has done one heck of a job this year - considering injuries.2016-1-20 03:20:59
"I thought Northwestern was the tougher team most of the night," Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said, per 1570 AM WNST on Twitter. "Some nights, things don't go well and you figure out a way to win."
Turgeon was also reportedly upset with his team's shot selection, per WNST:
Turgeon expressed unhappiness with his team settling for jump shots most of the night. Complimented Trimble's aggression in OT. #Terps2016-1-20 03:46:31
"Not everything bounced our way tonight, but we were tough enough to get the win," Turgeon added, according to Stirn.