December 17, 2017

Haas scores 21 as Purdue holds on to beat Maryland 80-75

04 December 2017, 08:57 | Silvia Roy

Haas scores 21 as Purdue holds on to beat Maryland 80-75

Haas scores 21 as Purdue holds on to beat Maryland 80-75

In its first three seasons playing in the Big Ten, Maryland had never lost a conference opener going into Friday's game against Purdue.

Despite the spectacular shooting start, Maryland was able to keep the game close with a late burst in the first period. The Boilermakers jumped out to a 23-10 lead about eight minutes into the contest by beating Maryland inside and out.

Carsen Edwards scored 18 for the Boilermakers, who got all their points from the five starters.

Turgeon shook up his lineup to begin the second half, starting Morsell and freshman Bruno Fernando to reengage the crowd. Neither Cekovsky nor Fernando could handle Haas one-on-one, and Haas scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the half. After a timeout, the ball eventually found senior forward Jared Nickens, whose potential game-tying three-pointer with 14 seconds left was off the mark. We couldn't seem to do that ...

Also striking was how well Purdue weathered Maryland runs throughout the game. Vincent Edwards made both free throws as part of an 11-0 run that made it 54-44 with 15:50 to go.

The excitement piqued in the final minute, when Maryland's sophomore point guard Anthony Cowan scored seven straight points in a matter of seconds to cut the Purdue lead to just three. The Boilermakers were often glorified spectators on the defensive glass through much of the game, but in the home stretch, the final 10 minutes, may have won the game on the offensive boards itself.

On one earlier in the game, Huerter hit a double-pump 3-pointer from about 23 feet as Dakota Mathias appeared to hit him on the hand as he shot.

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Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon had anxious all week about the Boilermakers' chemistry, and it was clear from the early moments that the young Terrapins were at an experience deficit. It will have been five years since Maryland played in the Bahamas in the summer of 2013. Purdue is not just the second-most experienced team in the Big Ten, returning almost 75 percent of its minutes, but it also spent much of the summer together while playing at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. "They're just much further along and they executed at a really high level, and they're well-coached".

Then, finally, and maybe most impactful, Haas rebounded his own miss inside of two minutes, then Maryland fouled Carsen Edwards 22 seconds later shortening the game and leading to two more free throws. But Cowan posted a four-point play seconds later thanks to being fouled on a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Five of his nine assists came in the second half. He is now averaging 8.8 a game, not even a shot more than he tried as a freshman. "Give (Maryland) credit, they fought back".

Huerter, as it turned out, was correct about what the Boilermakers expected.

"We got a great first half from Dakota Mathias and Isaac Haas", Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Morsell did some good things December 1, not the least of which was proving to be Turgeon's answer for Mathias as the game wore on.

Amusing how things worked out after Maryland spent much of the first half bludgeoning Purdue on the offensive glass, but struggling to finish. Mathias is now shooting 55.1 percent (27-of-49) from 3-point range on the season, and averaging 16.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Maryland trailed by 14 points in the first half before closing with a 10-3 run to make it 43-37 at the break. Turgeon substituted Morsell with Wiley, a better shooter, shortly after the miss, but then quickly reverted back to Morsell.

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"All the experiences we're going through are going to help us", Turgeon said.

"If anyone was going to get some perimeter shots, it was going to be him", Painter said of Morsell. "We knew what it takes, we knew what we had to do". He just didn't knock any down. The Terps didn't lose their second game until January 1 last season.

"Road games are obviously gold in the Big Ten now", Haas said. "I thought that really set the table for us". "I just tried to take it all in stride". A quick 7-0 run toward the end of the frame trimmed Purdue's lead to just six.

Cowan scored 20 and Kevin Huerter had 19 for Maryland (6-3, 0-1). Against Louisville, the Boilers shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and 21.7 percent from 3-point range, both season lows.

The teams played last season February 4, when Purdue won a thriller, 73-72, in College Park.

"Right now with Justin, I think it's just a confidence thing", Huerter said. It's not like he wasn't in the gym this summer, wasn't doing anything and didn't get better.

It was during this stretch that Purdue, which has talked so much lately of "grinding games out", embodied it.

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