‘I don’t know how we did it:’ No. 12 Terps get past cold shooting with free throws, rebounds in Big Ten debut; College basketball Maryland men 68, Michigan State 66, 2OT
The Big Ten opener for Maryland men’s basketball, December 30, 2014, against Michigan State, was truly a thriller and one of the most memorable victories in the team’s 100 seasons.
The move from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to the B1G had been a controversial one, so Maryland came into East Lansing to face the Spartans with something to prove. The Terps were enjoying their highest national ranking in 10 years and were ready for the test against one of the conference’s toughest teams.
The first half was a low-scoring affair. Maryland led 17-14 at the break, after the teams combined to shoot only 27 per cent from the field. Defense was the name of the game, and Coach Turgeon said afterwards, “Nobody has guarded us as well as they’ve guarded us.”
The lead see-sawed back and forth in the second half, and it took a three-pointer by Dez Wells, playing in his second game back after suffering a fractured wrist, to tie the score with three seconds left in regulation.
In the first overtime, Michigan State was ahead 55-51 with less than a minute remaining. Turgeon was slapped with a technical foul, frustrated by the lack of a foul call on a drive by freshman Melo Trimble, and it looked like the Terps might collapse. Jon Graham followed with a lay-up, and Wells added two free throws to extend the game again.
Maryland took control in the second overtime, wearing down the Spartans to secure a 68-66 win. Despite some serious shooting woes and 21 turnovers, they finished with some impressive stats, out rebounding Michigan State 52-36 and hitting 26 of 32 free throws, all of those after halftime.
It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a perennial powerhouse, but the Terps showed great grit and determination in their first conference victory, a win that Coach Turgeon, all members of the 2014-2015 squad, and Maryland fans everywhere will long remember.
This is the third in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the celebration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.
Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is January 9, when we mark the anniversary of Maryland’s first-ever varsity competition.