Melo Trimble, Maryland keep Northwestern from picking up another major victory

EVANSTON, IL - FEBRUARY 15: Northwestern Wildcats guard Isiah Brown (12) controls the ball against Maryland Terrapins guard Jaylen Brantley (1) in the first half during a game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Northwestern Wildcats on February 15, 2017, at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

EVANSTON – At this point in an incredibly successful season, every contest has some historical significance.

In fact the match-up with No. 23 Maryland on Wednesday night could be considered one of the biggest in program history. Really, it meant that much for a program accustomed to a lack of success.

The game featured a packed Welsh Ryan Arena motivated by Chris Collins team’s biggest win of the season – a Sunday stunner over seventh-ranked Wisconsin at the Kohl Center where the home team hadn’t lost in a year. Some optimistic fans and pundits even theorized that another win over a ranked Terrapins’ team could all but cement the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.

Melo Trimble and Maryland used their shooting from the field to quiet the buzz that engulfed the 7,707 mostly purple-clad fans on Wednesday night.

The guard went for a career-high 32 points as the Terrapins shot 50 percent from the field in a 74-64 win that curbs the enthusiasm of Wildcats fans for at least a night. With the defeat, Northwestern falls to 8-5 in the Big Ten as the failed to win their 20th game of the season.

Trimble finished the game shooting 12-of-17 from the field while also hitting 4-of-5 his three-point attempts in arguably the best game of his career.

The junior  set the tone in the first half for Maryland, who only trailed in the first minute of the game. His layup-and-foul with three seconds left to go in the first half sent the Terrapins to the break up by ten points. The guard kept it up in the second half and he appeared to turn the game into a rout when his three-pointer with 14:58 left put the Terrapins up by 17 points.

Meanwhile the Northwestern offense, missing leading scorer Scottie Lindsey for a fourth-straight game, struggled to keep pace the entire contest. Bryant McIntosh had an off night (3-of-13 shooting, nine points) as the team hit just 39 percent of their shots from the field, including 5-of-22 three pointers.

Isiah Brown led the Wildcats with 19 points off the bench but even he could get the Wildcats’ no closer that eight points of the Terrapins in the second half as a night of potential history was wrecked by the hot shooting visitors.