Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD-
We have been saying all season long that it is a tale of two halves with this Terps team. Tonight, was no exception as they turned on the jets in the second half to knock of No. 3 Purdue, 68-54.
“I knew we were going to win,” Maryland coach Kevin Willard said. “This was not a surprise to me. This is an unbelievable program. It’s one of the best programs in the country. I thought it was important for the fanbase and it was important for the students to just understand what this program is really all about.”
Maryland was led by another solid 20-point effort by Jahmir Young, who after the game talked about the win and how he felt about Willard’s words on coming to play at Maryland for games like this.
“It was an amazing feeling, said Young. I wanted to make these types of moments happen and to get caught up with these fans tonight who made the difference for us, it’s a great feeling.”
Hakim Hart added 13 points for Maryland, which defeated a top-three team for the first time since toppling then-No. 3 Iowa 74-68 on Jan. 28, 2016. Maryland improved to 14-1 at home this season.
After the game, Purdue Head Coach, Matt Painter talked about their second loss to a conference opponent which resulted in a court storming and the lack of effort in the second half that has forced his team to falter late.
“We have to be tougher,” Painter said. “You have to come in here and win the possession battle. You have to have more rebounds and fewer turnovers. Now you can start right there and work toward something. We didn’t do that. When you get on the road and you have fewer possessions and now you don’t shoot well, oh that’s going to be a long night versus a quality team.”
Tonight, marked the 10th year to the day victory over No. 2 Duke back in 2013 and to do it again tonight was special for all of those guys in the locker room according to Willard.
Julian Reese who also turned on his game in the second half forcing quite a few turnovers in the final 6 minutes of the game talked about just sticking to the plan and work hard. We have come a long way since last year.
“Like coach said in the locker room, ‘Just think of where you were last year,”’ said forward Julian Reese, who had 10 points and nine rebounds. “At this time last year, we had a bad record — I’m not exactly sure what it was — and (now) it’s (18-8) and we just beat a top-five team in the country. It’s definitely a confidence booster, but we have to keep working.”