Maryland men’s basketball team ends its season on a depressing note by falling to Wisconsin 59-54 in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.
“I just felt like we were always behind the whole time,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said postgame. “We never took the lead. Whether it was fouls, them shooting more free throws or whatever it was, I just felt like we were fighting uphill all day. It is what it is.”
The Terps (19-13, 8-10 Big Ten), who dropped to 2-4 in the Big Ten Tournament, led twice in the first half and spent the rest of the game trying to make a comeback.
“We had the lead 24-23, that was the only time we had the lead,” Turgeon said. “We tied it a bunch of times. Really came down to two things: We fouled too darn much and we couldn’t get a rebound when we had to get a rebound.”
Maryland freshman Bruno Fernando tallied 12 points and nine rebounds. Junior Anthony Cowan Jr. notched 16 points and four assists, while guard Kevin Huerter scored a team-high 20 points on 8-15 shooting.
There were multiple times when the Terps tied the game, but they failed to get over the hump and take control.
“We were making plays,” Huerter said. “We were kind of going back and forth. We never got over the hump, never made the shot to go up.”
Wisconsin jumped out to a seven point lead in the second half, but Maryland kept chipping away and managed to tie the game at 47 with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
Huerter converted two straight baskets to tie things up with 1:23 to go. Brevin Pritzl scored to give the Badgers a 53-51 lead with 28 seconds left.
Wisconsin’s Iverson Khalil stole the ball from Huerter and was fouled with eight seconds to play. Khalil knocked down a pair of free throws to seal the Badgers’ victory.
“Unfortunately, it’s a play that we were supposed to be running that I wasn’t the look, so I wasn’t really expecting the ball,” Huerter said. “And Dion taking it out, had to get the ball in and didn’t have a timeout. When it broke down, I should have tried harder to get open.”
Wisconsin’s forward Ethan Happ registered 14 points and seven boards. Khalil had 11 points and six rebounds. The Badgers shot 36 percent from the floor compared to Maryland’s 44 percent.
With the NCAA Tournament out of the question, the Terps will await to see if they get a bid into the NIT.
“We haven’t gotten to talking about that,” Huerter said. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen.”