Maryland (7-6, 2-Five Large Ten) trailed 61-59 with lower than two mins to play, however sophomore guard Hakim Hart nailed a three-pointer with 1:20 to head to present the Terps a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Hart dedicated a bad on Illinois’ subsequent ownership, however Da’Monte Williams overlooked each loose throws. Senior guard Darryl Morsell made a riding basket with 33 seconds to head, extending the Terrapins’ benefit to 3 issues and capping his superb night time.
After sophomore ahead Donta Scott overlooked the entrance finish of a one-and-one, Illinois had a possibility to tie the rating on its ultimate ownership, however Illinois megastar Ayo Dosunmu overlooked his three-point try, and the Terps hung on.
“We got here in locked in, paid actual consideration to the scouting record, and we believed,” stated Morsell, who completed with a career-high 19 issues. “I believe believing is the most important factor. And all of us believed getting into this construction, even with out [injured guard] Eric [Ayala], that we had sufficient to get it carried out.”
The Terps had an array of gamers main their effort towards the Preventing Illini (Nine-Four, Five-2). Morsell’s output got here after he performed poorly in Maryland’s earlier sport after he returned from a fractured bone in his face. Morsell used to be “a multitude towards Iowa” final week, Trainer Mark Turgeon stated, and Maryland’s struggles with out Morsell end up his significance.
“He’s the guts of this staff,” Turgeon stated. “He’s the entirety for us.”
Scott scored 16 issues to head with 8 rebounds, and junior guard Aaron Wiggins completed with 12 issues. Most significantly, the Terps performed neatly as a gaggle when the end result of the sport trusted their efficiency within the ultimate mins.
Dosunmu ruled in the second one part, scoring 16 of his 23 issues within the ultimate 20 mins of play to stay the Terps from pulling forward quicker. Dosunmu blended with 7-foot middle Kofi Cockburn, who scored 21 issues and gave Maryland bother within the first part. However the Terps controlled to sluggish Cockburn’s manufacturing as the sport stepped forward. Maryland has struggled towards ambitious forwards this season, however Maryland senior ahead Galin Smith defended neatly towards Cockburn, who tried best two pictures in the second one part.
“He battled and he battled and he battled,” Turgeon stated of Smith, including that middle Chol Marial additionally gave Maryland cast mins.
Ayala, a junior who had began each sport this season, couldn’t play on account of a groin harm. Ayala leads Maryland in scoring at 14.Zero issues according to sport, and his absence left the Terps with a vital void to fill. Turgeon settled on a beginning lineup and not using a true level guard, depending on Wiggins, Hart and Morsell as the 3 guards. All 5 of Maryland’s starters — the ones 3 guards, plus Scott and Smith — performed greater than 27 mins. Hart used to be the main ballhandler all the way through the sport and performed neatly in that function.
“While you lose someone like [Ayala], everyone has to step up on a undeniable level,” Wiggins stated, “whether or not that be power, whether or not that be guys at the bench, whether or not that suggests scoring on offense, rebounding or making performs.”
The Illini grabbed a seven-point lead early within the first part, however Maryland responded with a Nine-Zero run. Maryland’s lead used to be short-lived, however the Terps refused to let Illinois take keep an eye on, whilst Cockburn offered a vital problem within the paint. Maryland held Dosunmu to 2-for-11 taking pictures within the first part, and the Terps performed neatly sufficient offensively to stay the Illini from surging forward. After a Maryland timeout, Scott hit a three-pointer at the ultimate ownership sooner than halftime, a great addition that despatched Maryland to the locker room dealing with just a 34-32 deficit.
The Terps began the second one part making six immediately pictures, 4 of which got here from Morsell. The Terps retook the lead, however Dosunmu spoke back with a surge of scoring with 9 issues in about two mins. Neither staff led via greater than 5 issues all the way through the second one part.
Maryland’s sport towards Illinois ended a stretch of about two weeks filled with tough warring parties. The Terps confronted a staff ranked within the best 16 in 4 of the ones six video games. The Terps’ best earlier win all the way through this span got here at the street towards No. 6 Wisconsin, and Maryland had misplaced 3 immediately video games till this much-needed victory that required poise throughout the ultimate possessions.
“Each time sooner than the sport, each timeout, the final timeout we had, I’m like, ‘We’ve were given some guys, and we’re constructed for this,’ ” Morsell stated. “That’s one thing we are living via.”