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(COLLEGE PARK, MD) – After extending their lead to a game high nine-points in the second half, Maryland Terrapins (18-8 | 9-6) responded with a unbelievable 32-6 to cruise to a 68-54 win over the Purdue Boilermakers (23-4 | 12-4).

If there was a word that summarized the first half, then it would have to be gritty. It took some time for either team to score, but it was Purdue scoring first with Braden Smith converting a mid-range jump shot nearly two minutes into the game. Through the first four and a half minutes of the game, Purdue was ahead 6-2. The first media timeout came with 13:35 remaining in the half with Purdue ahead 8-6. All scoring at that point came from Smith and Zach Edey (four points each). In fact, it almost took ten minutes before a player not named Smith or Edey scored, and that was Brandon Newman. The only real run that Purdue could put together in the first half started with 8:11 to go when it was 16-15. The Boilermakers would overscore the Terrapins by five points over the next seven minutes, including a stretch where Maryland missed six consecutive shots. What saved Maryland in the first half was the ability to draw contact and get to the foul line courtesy of the bonus. They converted eight of their eleven free throws. Purdue’s defense held Maryland to eight field goals in the first half, 31% from the field, one of six from distance (17%), but were -2 on the glass. Smith kept the Boilers in game with 10 points, making all five of his shots and had a pair of steals on the defensive end. Edey finished the half with eight points and Mason Gillis chipped in with four. Purdue would lead 28-25 at intermission.

Coming out of the locker room to start the half, the Braden Smith show would continue. He scored the first five points for the Boilermakers to start the half and sparked a 7-2 run for his team to create their largest lead in the game at eight points. What sparked it for Maryland was Mason Gillis picking up a foul and then was assessed a technical foul for a gesture made towards an official. The run resulted in the Terrapins calling a timeout. Maryland would immediately erase that eight-point deficit to go ahead 39-37 after being down 37-29. In total, the Terps would outscore 32-6 in 10:50 of game action to go from down eight, to up 18. Coming out of the under eight-minute media timeout, the Boilers got to the foul line with Fletcher Loyer and Edey to get some easy points before Smith made another field goal to end their streak of six consecutive missed shots. There was a sense of life coming from Matt Painter’s crew as they quickly cut the eighteen-point hole to eleven with three minutes to go. Unfortunately, Purdue would not be able to get stops, rebounds, or make consecutive shots down the final stretch. Final score Maryland 68 – Purdue 54.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jahmir Young (20p, 5r, 4a), Braden Smith (18p, 3r, 3a, 2s), and Zach Edey (18p, 8r). For tonight’s full box score, click here.

NOTES: The win for Maryland was the first against an AP-Top 5 team since January 28th, 2016. After winning 22 of their first 23 games, Purdue has now lost three of their last four games. With Northwestern defeating Indiana last night, the Wildcats are now one game behind the Boilermakers with four games left. Northwestern has Iowa (home), Illinois (road), Maryland (road), Penn State (home), and Rutgers (road). After holding Maryland to 8/26 in the first half, they shot 17/27 (63%) in the second half.

NEXT UP: The good news for the Boilermakers is that they return to Mackey Arena this weekend to take on the struggling Ohio State Buckeyes. Prior to this evening’s game against Iowa, Chris Holtmann’s team had dropped eleven of their last twelve games. Their only win was against Iowa. Tip-off from West Lafayette is set for 1pm on CBS.

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