Darryl Morsell missed two free throws with the opportunity to tie the game at 72 with 19 seconds left and a second-half rally fell short for the Maryland men’s basketball team, which lost to Purdue, 73-70, on Friday at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Maryland (5-3), which never led in the game, was down by as many as 15 points in the first half. But the Terps used 10-0 run and 7-0 runs in the second to cut into the Boilermakers’ lead. A driving layup by sophomore forward Donta Scott, who scored all 15 of his points in the second half, tied the game at 70 with under one minute remaining.
A goaltending call on Scott gave Purdue (7-3) a 72-70 lead with 38 seconds remaining.
Morsell, a senior guard who attended Mount Saint Joseph, was fouled while attempting a layup but couldn’t tie the game and after a made free throw by Boilermakers forward Trevion Williams, junior guard Eric Ayala missed a rushed 3-pointer with five seconds remaining, leaving the Terps with a tough road loss on just the second Christmas Day game in program history. Morsell’s late-game struggles at the free-throw line were emblematic of the entire team, which missed 11 of 21 attempts.
“He’s upset but that’s not why we lost the game, because he missed those two free throws,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said of Morsell.
Purdue led 41-28 at halftime, shooting 42% from the field and making seven of 13 3-point attempts. Maryland struggled early on, hitting on just three of its first 10 shots. The Terps shot 38% from the field in the first half but missed eight of their 10 free throws.
“It’s a small thing. We practice them every day. We shoot a lot of free throws,” Ayala said. “They could have helped us win the game. We missed — I don’t really know how many — we missed a lot. Just making those [could have] kept us in the game a little more.”
Maryland shot 43.1% from the field and made 10 of 28 3-pointers in the game, while Purdue made 45.6% of its shots and hit 10 of 22 3-pointers. The Boilermakers outrebounded the Terps 41-31 and 10-6 on offensive boards.
“We weren’t good enough defensively in the end to win the game,” Turgeon said.
“Our post defense was terrific,” he added. “Our perimeter defense wasn’t good enough, whether getting beat off the dribble or giving up 3s.”
Williams, who struggled with foul trouble early, scored eight of his 10 points in the second half. Guard Brandon Newman scored 17 points to lead Purdue.
Morsell (10), Ayala (13) and junior guard Aaron Wiggins (14) all scored in double figures for the Terps.
Morsell, who started the team’s first seven games, came off the bench and sophomore guard Hakim Hart (four points) started in a move Turgeon said was made to “figure our team out.”
Sophomore center Chol Marial (three points) played 12 minutes, his highest total since Dec. 4 against Saint Peter’s, as Turgeon looked to combat Purdue’s size. Marial missed all four of his field-goal attempts, three of which were beyond the arc, but gave Maryland tough minutes against Purdue’s big front line and drew Williams into foul trouble. Marial, who Turgeon said played the “best minutes of his career,” got the start in the second half but exited the game after picking up three fouls in the first three minutes and did not return.
“We battled. We played a really good Purdue team that played well and we battled. So I’m encouraged,” Turgeon said. “I know what lies ahead, the league is so darn good. But I was encouraged with our effort and toughness tonight.”
MARYLAND@NO. 9 WISCONSIN
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