Terps lose first, 73-59, as rally fails

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A missed one-and-one by Cowan with three min­utes left, and a sub­se­quent turnover by him, ended Mary­land’s come­back, as Young hit six straight free throws in the fi­nal two min­utes to si­lence the crowd.

Pitts­burgh coach Kevin Stallings, a friend of Tur­geon’s dat­ing to their years as as­sis­tants un­der Roy Wil­liams at Kansas, thought his Pan­thers saw a tired team in Mary­land. The Terps were play­ing their fifth game in 10 days, com­ing off two emo­tional wins at the Bar­clays Cen­ter Clas­sic in Brook­lyn, N.Y., over the week­end.

“The fact of the mat­ter of tim­ing is not lost on me. They played two re­ally hard­fought games on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day, and I know how dif­fi­cult that is to come back, ba­si­cally on one day of prepa­ra­tion,” Stallings said. “We prob­a­bly caught them at a good time. But hav­ing said that, I thought our team played about as well in the first half as we’ve played on both ends.”

Said Tur­geon: “It was a good time to catch us. That’s not an ex­cuse. The fact is we didn’t ex­e­cute against a zone the way we should, the way we prac­ticed [Mon­day]. And we didn’t run back on de­fense the way we needed to. If we could have done that in the first half, kept it around10 or 12, be­cause we know we could come back from that num­ber, we would have had a chance.”

For the first time all sea­son, Mary­land’s three fresh­man starters showed their in­ex­pe­ri­ence for most of the game.

For­ward Justin Jack­son hit three of his first four shots, in­clud­ing two 3-point­ers from the right cor­ner, to help Mary­land take an early lead. Those were the only points Jack­son scored to go with a sea­son­low three re­bounds.

Cowan, who had started the game guard­ing Ar­tis and gave away more than 7 inches and nearly 50 pounds, ap­peared to be rat­tled at times try­ing to at­tack Pitts­burgh’s zone de­fense.

And Kevin Huerter, whose timely shoot­ing, high-IQ pass­ing and tough de­fense have helped Mary­land win a num­ber of games this sea­son, missed the only shot he tried in the first half. He fin­ished 2-for-9 from the field, shoot­ing ex­clu­sively 3-point­ers. He­did have a team-high nine re­bounds.

“My young guys were tired, men­tally tired,” Tur­geon said. “We’re go­ing to take the day off [to­day]. I told them they can’t watch film, they can’t come by, they can’t shoot. They just need to get away from it be­cause it’s been a lot for this team al­ready.”

A24-4 run in the first half helped pro­vide Pitts­burgh with a 45-24 lead at half­time, with the Pan­thers shoot­ing a siz­zling 18-of-27 from the field. Though they cooled off in the sec­ond half, the Terps never heated up, fin­ish­ing 21-for-61 and 10-for-36 Mary­land’s Ivan Ben­der is pres­sured by Pitts­burgh’s Michael Young in the first half of the ACC-Big Ten Chal­lenge game in Col­lege Park. Young led the Pan­thers with 25 points. Pitt’s Jamel Ar­tis, who grew up in East Bal­ti­more and once hoped to play for the Terps, added 22. Pitts­burgh’s Chris Jones chases a loose ball in front of Mary­land’s Jaylen Brant­ley. “My young guys were tired, men­tally tired,” Mary­land coach Mark Tur­geon said af­ter the game. from 3-point range.

It was a tough night for Trim­ble, who was com­ing off be­ing named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week.

In Mary­land’s fourth straight de­feat in the ACC-Big Ten Chal­lenge, and third straight since join­ing the Big Ten, Trim­ble fin­ished 4-of-13 from the field, in­clud­ing 2-of-8 on 3-point­ers, and went to the foul line just four times.

“We were able to keep Trim­ble off the foul line, which I think the zone helped us with that,” Stallings said.

Trim­ble re­called a sim­i­lar game and out­come against a No. 7-ranked Vir­ginia team at Xfin­ity Cen­ter when he was a fresh­man. Los­ing for the first time af­ter a 7-0 start, the Terps wound up fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the Big Ten while go­ing to the NCAA tour­na­ment for the first time in five years.

“It hap­pened to us our fresh­man year, we played UVa., a vet­eran team, just like Pitt. We lost and we learned from it and we got bet­ter,” he said. “And that’s what we’re go­ing to do. Get bet­ter.”


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