Rapid Recap: Maryland 94, Northwestern 87 (2OT)


Jorge Melendez/The Daily Northwestern

Boo Buie drives to the basket. Buie scored 13 points in 40 minutes in Northwestern’s double-overtime loss to Maryland.

Patrick Andres, Sports Editor

Northwestern was awash in optimism after its 67-61 win over Maryland to open Big Ten play on Dec. 5. However, that initial burst had long since waned entering Wednesday night’s home date with the same Terrapins team.

Things did not get better for the Wildcats, who blew numerous opportunities to put Maryland away down the stretch and lost 94-87 to the Terrapins in double overtime to further kneecap their already dim March prospects.

Junior forward Robbie Beran opened the scoring for the Wildcats with a three-pointer as NU came out with its guns blazing from behind the arc. NU attempted four threes before the first media timeout, making two en route to an 8-5 lead. Maryland proceeded to go over three minutes without scoring before a layup from guard Fatts Russell; by the time the under-12 rolled around, the Terrapins and Cats were shooting a combined 26.9% from the field.

The low-scoring affair continued as junior guard Boo Buie’s second trey put NU up 15-11 with 9:43 left in the first. Ever so slowly, the two teams’ offenses crept to life, with guard Eric Ayala’s four-point play bringing Maryland within 19-18 late in the half. The two teams traded buckets for the last few minutes before intermission, with Beran’s layup with three seconds left tying the game at 30.

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued to start the second half, as senior forward Pete Nance’s hook shot was followed by a similar shot from Terrapins forward Donta Scott. A driving Beran layup with 15:43 left put him in double figures and evened the contest at 38 heading into the first media timeout. A 6-0 run spearheaded by guard Hakim Hart staked Maryland to a four-point cushion, but the Cats answered with their own run to go up 48-46.

Redshirt junior guard Chase Audige fouled Ayala on a three-point attempt, and NU ceded the lead to the Terrapins at the midpoint of the second half. Nance buried a three shortly thereafter, touching off an exchange of three-pointers that put Maryland up 56-54 at the under-eight.

A Nance layup gave the Cats a 60-59 lead with five minutes left. The Terrapins crept ahead on a pair of Scott free throws, and Ayala’s three with 4:15 to go pushed the lead to four. Buie responded with a layup, but Ayala scored again to give Maryland a 66-62 advantage at the under-four.

Russell hit two free throws to stretch the Terrapins’ lead to six with a little over two minutes to play. Nance responded by nailing both ends of a one-and-one, but Scott hit a jumper to put Maryland back up by six. Senior guard Ryan Greer hit a jumper to keep NU solvent with 1:36 left, and coach Chris Collins called a timeout. After Greer bricked a layup, Hart scored to put the Terrapins up by six once more.

Then, weird things began to happen. Nance hit a three to bring the Cats within 72-69 with 15 seconds left. Beran drew a flagrant foul from Scott and hit both free throws, and another Scott foul put Nance on the line with a chance to win it. He knocked down one shot to tie the game at 72 and force overtime.

Beran’s fourth foul gave Maryland guard Qudus Wahab two free throws 25 seconds into the overtime, one of which he made. A quick Beran layup put NU back up 74-73, and Audige hit a three to give the Cats a four-point lead.

Audige fouled out and Ayala hit two free throws, but Nance responded with a bucket to give the Cats an 81-77 advantage with a minute and a half left. Russell replied with a layup, forcing Collins into a timeout. Out of the timeout, Nance turned it over and Hart drove for a layup, getting fouled by Berry in the process.

Hart made one of two free throws, and Buie came back with a jumper with 42 seconds left. Russell responded with his own score, drawing contact from Greer. His free throw re-tied the game at 83 with :31 left.

Greer missed a three-pointer with seven seconds left but Beran reeled in the rebound. After a timeout with three seconds left, Russell stole the ball but missed a desperation heave. Into another extra session NU and the Terrapins plunged.

Guard Xavier Green and Greer traded buckets to start the second overtime. Hart hit a jumper with 3:59 left to put Maryland up 87-85, and Russell extended the lead to four 49 seconds later. The gassed Cats offered little further opposition, falling by seven.


  • Beran bounces back early after rough sledding in Columbus

Beran struggled against Ohio State on Sunday, missing all six of his field goal attempts while Buckeyes star EJ Liddell repeatedly attacked him on defense. Against the Terrapins, he put together a fine first half, scoring seven points on five field goal attempts including the game-opening three. Beran finished with 19 points and six rebounds in 38 minutes.

  • Northwestern can/can’t answer Maryland’s multi-pronged attack

Ayala was the focal point of Maryland’s offense in the first half, knocking down two threes and scoring 10 of the Terrapins’ 30 points, and he continued to burn NU in the second, finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. He was far from the only Terrapins star, though: Russell and Hart finished with 23 and 18 points, respectively, exploiting the defensive cracks the Cats showed against Ohio State.

  • Another close game gets away

NU had chances, repeatedly. The Cats could easily have stolen a W at the end of the first overtime. A spotty playcall resulted in a turnover, and Russell tried (and missed) a long-range shot at the buzzer. It only continued what NU fans have come to know all too well: the Cats in recent years under Collins have been downright averse to finishing close games.

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Twitter: @pandres2001