No. 4 Maryland has no problem handing Northwestern it’s first Big Ten loss
EVANSTON – A full house was hoping to see the coming of age of a team that had a start three generations in the making.
Chris Collins brought his Northwestern team into Welsh-Ryan Arena with a 13-1 record, the best since the 1930-1931 season, and with a Big Ten opener win at Nebraska on Wednesday.
With fourth-ranked Maryland in town, perhaps the stage was set for a breakthrough victory for the Wildcats that could vault them into rankings and ever closer to an elusive NCAA Tournament berth.
Not on this night-and the Terrapins never let Northwestern or their fans get that thought in their head.
Led by the strong shooting of their guards Maryland took as much as a 22-point first half lead and rarely let up in a 72-59 thrashing of the Wildcats on Saturday night. It’s just the second loss of the season for Collins’ team and it arguably came against their best opponent who themselves improve to 13-1 on the season.
Melo Trimble led the attack for the Terrapins with 24 points including five-three pointers while his backcourt mate Rasheed Sulaimon had four treys of his own for 16 points. Maryland shot 46 percent from the floor and were at their best in the first half when the built a 20-point halftime lead on the Wildcats.
Behind Bryant McIntosh’s 17 points the Wildcats made a few charges at the lead but could do little to cut into the deficit. The closest they would get in the second half was the end of the game when Scottie Lindsey’s free throws got it down to 13 points on a night in which a breakthrough moment for the program was put on hold.