College Park, Md. (AP) No matter what the postseason holds for the Maryland Terrapins, they’ll be able to point to some real accomplishments in Kevin Willard’s first season as their coach.
For example, they have won all of their Big Ten home games.
Jahmir Young scored 18 points and Don Curry added 13 to help Maryland finish an unbeaten home conference season with a 75-59 win over No. 21 Northwestern on Sunday.
“Going 10-0 in this conference at home, that’s impressive for this group,” Willard said. “I think it shows you just how great this show is, and what an amazing fan base it has.”
The Terrapins (20-9, 11-7) finished 16-1 overall at home, and used impressive 3-point shooting to hold back the Wildcats (20-9, 11-7). Maryland’s win also snatched at least a share of the Big Ten title for No. 5 Purdue.
The Boilermakers (24-5, 13-5) now have a record 25 Big Ten championships, three more than Indiana, which is one of many teams that can still tie Purdue for the top this year. Remarkably, Maryland and Northwestern are also in that group. The Terps have made great strides since Willard arrived from Seton Hall, and Chris Collins’ Wildcats entered the AP Top 25 this week before losing to Illinois and Maryland.
“This league is tough. You play good teams,” Collins said. “We’re not disappointed in any way. We’re still excited. We’ve got a big week coming up again, and you just have to learn from these games and go home and try to make it right when you get another chance to play. ”
The Terrapins haven’t been a good three-point shooting team this season. They entered their game on Sunday 31% from outside the arc but went 14-of-22 against Northwestern. Young and Carey made four each.
The 6-foot-1 Young threw a sure dunk to give Maryland a 35-32 lead. He later made 3 at the buzzer to put the Trips up 41-39 at half time.
“I’ve been feeling it since 3 early so I’m just trying to get a shot,” said Young, who scored 16 of his points before halftime.
Maryland was 8-for-11 from long distance in the first half, with both teams shooting about 60% from the field. Terps didn’t fall back much a second. Carey’s A 3 capped off a 12-2 run that put Maryland ahead 67-51, and it was smooth sailing from there.
Chase Odig led the Northwestern team with 16 points.
The Big Picture
Northwestern: Purdue’s recent struggles gave the Wildcats a chance to win their first title since 1933, but those chances took a major blow Sunday against a packed Maryland house.
“We haven’t been good enough in the last couple of years probably to warrant some kind of spirited crowd,” said Collins. They knew this was a high level match. They knew there was a lot at stake for both teams here late in the season.
Maryland: The Terps are undefeated at home in Big Ten play for the second time. They also did so in 2014-15, their first season in the league. Maryland has hit more than 10 3s in a game for only the second time this season. The Terps have a 13-win season over St. Louis in November.
Willard said he tried to stay free on a day when Maryland honored its first class.
”I wanted to have fun.” I’ve never had such fun on prom night. “I’m an emotional wreck, and that affects the players,” Willard said. So the only thing I said to them is that I just wanted to have fun today. … I was going to have a good time no matter what. We blew up at 20, I would have enjoyed the fact that this group worked really hard, and would have been grateful for what they gave us.
Northwestern: The Wildcats host Penn State Wednesday night.
Maryland: The Terps play Ohio State on Wednesday night.
Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister
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