Men’s Basketball: Wildcats can’t contain Maryland guards Sulaimon, Trimble in loss


Jacob Swan/Daily Senior Staffer

Maryland guard Rasheed Sulaimon shoots a jumper over junior forward Sanjay Lumkpin. The Maryland backcourt scored 40 of the Terrapins’ 72 points.

Cole Paxton, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

Rasheed Sulaimon and Melo Trimble attacked Northwestern’s man defense and its zone defense. They nailed 3-pointers and dished dazzling assists. They made plays frequently and at big times. On Saturday, the Wildcats simply couldn’t stop the Maryland duo.

The guards combined for 40 points on 9-of-18 shooting on 3s, leading the way in the No. 4 Terrapins’ (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) 72-59 win over NU (13-2, 1-1) at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

“I thought our initial defense, when we got them stopped in the transition, I thought our zone presented some problems,” coach Chris Collins said. “The end of clocks and some of the turnovers and runouts I thought were the things that killed us.”

The Cats had no answer for Sulaimon in the first half. The senior scored 13 points before the break on perfect 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Roles very much reversed in the second, when Trimble had 17 points and nailed four 3s.

The duo worked excellently together in the first half, as Trimble assisted on four of Sulaimon’s five field goals. Trimble was an offensive wizard in an extended 22-9 Maryland run midway through the first half, dishing out three assists and hitting a pair of baskets of his own.

“They’re a very skilled team,” sophomore guard Bryant McIntosh said. “They’re a tough team to guard.”

If the first half was a model of consistency for Sulaimon and Trimble, the second was one of big plays.

With the crowd on its feet after the Cats cut the deficit to 14, Trimble drained a 3 just moments before the shot clock expired. After another similar run shortly thereafter that brought NU within 14, Sulaimon swished a 3 to take Maryland’s advantage to 56-39.

Their passing was just as impressive as their scoring. Sulaimon and Trimble combined for 14 assists — more than the 11 the Cats had as a team. The two guards combined for just one turnover.

“Our guards’ assist-to-turnover ratio — Rasheed and Melo — tonight was tremendous,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.

The Terrapins’ backcourt strongly outperformed their NU counterpart. McIntosh and senior guard Tre Demps combined for 26 points on 11-of-32 shooting.

For Collins, the story was the performance of Sulaimon and Trimble.

“I thought they were exceptional,” he said. “They played like big time guards tonight.”

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