Hawaii's run in the NCAA tournament came to an end after a dreadful spell in the second half lifted Maryland to a 73-60 victory during Sunday night's second-round game at Spokane Arena in Washington.
With Hawaii up 41-39, it went on a stretch in which it hit one of 18 field-goal attempts, while Maryland woke up and outscored its opponent 32-21 in the final 11 minutes of the game.
Point guard Melo Trimble, like he has all season, carried the Terps with 24 points and eight rebounds on the night, while forward Diamond Stone added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Hawaii certainly made it difficult for Maryland to punch its ticket to the Sweet 16. Thanks to its defense, Hawaii held Maryland without a field goal in the game's first six minutes as the Rainbow Warriors opened with a 10-4 lead.
SB Nation's Alex Kirshner thought Maryland could be in trouble:
Alex Kirshner @alex_kirshner
Not to be that guy, but Hawaii has a really good defense and Maryland looks completely iced tonight. This could be a problem.2016-3-20 23:21:21
The Terrapins got going thanks to Stone, who scored eight straight points as Maryland went on a 10-2 run to nab its first lead of the game with eight minutes left in the first half.
Miami Marlins outfielder and Maryland alumnus Justin Maxwell liked what he saw from Stone:
Justin Maxwell @JustinMaxwell43
Diamond Stone! 💎2016-3-20 23:38:14
The Terps caught fire and hit seven straight shots, building a lead as large as four, but Hawaii's Stefan Jankovic—the Big West Player of the Year whom the Terps held to just three points in the game's first 18 minutes—scored five points to cut Maryland's lead to just one at halftime.
His play impressed RealGM's Jonathan Tjarks:
Jonathan Tjarks @JonathanTjarks
Have to believe there's a roster spot in the NBA for a 6'11 guy who can shoot and move like Jankovic.2016-3-21 00:02:13
Hawaii continued to build its momentum into the second half as the Rainbow Warriors went on an 8-2 run by simply outworking the Terps. Hawaii hauled in 16 offensive rebounds compared to Maryland's three, and it was Roderick Bobbitt who embodied the Rainbow Warriors' work ethic:
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Seeing Maryland behind against Hawaii perplexed KGW News' John Canzano:
John Canzano @johncanzanobft
Watching Maryland play is like watching politics. You wonder how they do so little with so much.2016-3-21 00:34:31
With a slim lead, the wheels fell off for Hawaii as ice-cold shooting opened the door for Maryland to come right back and take control.
A 12-2 run was capped off by Maryland's first made three-pointer of the game after it went 0-of-15 from deep. It was none other than Trimble, who on the fast break pulled up and drained his wide-open chance to put the Terps up seven with 9:33 remaining.
The lead expanded to 13, and NBA.com's David Aldridge commented on the turn of events as Maryland secured its spot in the Sweet 16:
David Aldridge @daldridgetnt
Maryland just ‘sploded on Hawaii, didn’t they?2016-3-21 00:47:35
This will be the last time the Rainbow Warriors will be in the NCAA tournament until at least 2018 after the school received a postseason ban for the 2016-17 season in December.
Maryland, on the other hand, will take on the South Region's No. 1 overall seed, Kansas, on Thursday.
For the first time in 13 years, Maryland is headed to the Sweet 16 much in part to the heroics of Trimble, who spoke with the Big Ten Network after the win:
Maryland On BTN @MarylandOnBTN
Melo Trimble talks with @NicoleDarin about the @TerrapinHoops win over Hawai'i. #MarchOnBTN https://t.co/xVuY6hQhto2016-3-21 02:44:48
Unfortunately for the Terps, they will have to face the buzz saw that's been Kansas, which is currently on a 16-game winning streak.
It isn't the team that Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon wanted to see, via Tim Bisel of the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Tim Bisel @timbisel
Turgeon: "I hate that I have to play Kansas; I'm just glad we're there. They're best team in country. We're just excited to be in the game."2016-3-21 01:28:27
Maryland will have an enormous, almost insurmountable-looking test waiting for it in the Sweet 16, and if it plays how it did against Hawaii, it won't be making it out of the round, either.
But if Maryland is able to play a complete 60 minutes and get solid contributions from the number of weapons that it has, then maybe it can make a game of this on March 24.
Check out Bleacher Report's live updating bracket to track your picks along the road to the Final Four
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.