NCAA News Wire

Maryland tips Northwestern in last second

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Two of the best freshmen in the Big Ten — a pair of cool-as-they come 6-foot-3 guards — put their versatile talent on display Sunday night at Xfinity Center.

Maryland freshman point guard Melo Trimble outscored his Northwestern counterpart, Bryant McIntosh, 27-21. Even one of Trimble’s misses turned out in his team’s favor, leading to the game-winning shot.

Guard/forward Dez Wells made a put-back with 1.4 seconds left, giving the 13th-ranked Terrapins a 68-67 win over the Wildcats in a Big Ten game.

Maryland trailed by 11 points with 3 minutes, 45 seconds to go.

“I just thank Melo for the half-shot, half-pass,” Wells said with a grin. “It just shows our character, our true character as a team. We stuck with it.”

Wells struggled on offense of late but got some vindication against the Wildcats, finishing with 17 points.

“I am really happy for Dez,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “He is just trying way too hard. I just try to get him to settle down. …

“I did not like the shot Melo took. Dez does what Dez does. It was a big time tip. We almost had to be perfect after the last media timeout to win the game.”

Trimble scored 19 second-half points, while Wells added 10 after the break. Guard Jake Layman contributed eight points and eight rebounds overall for Maryland (18-3, 6-2 Big Ten).

“We believed in each other. We didn’t want to lose two in a row,” said Trimble, whose team lost Thursday at Indiana.

The Wildcats (10-10, 1-6) dropped their sixth game in a row, the past three by a total of five points.

Northwestern led by 14 late in the first half and by 11 points at halftime. They had a chance late, but McIntosh missed the front end of a one-on-one with 27 seconds left before Trimble hit two free throws to give Maryland the lead.

“He is going to be kicking himself,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said of McIntosh. “Sometimes you are tested individually as a player. He is a guy I want on that line every time.”

Said McIntosh: “It’s kind of hard to look at personal perspective. I don’t deal with losing very well. All I know is we got beat. We just have to learn how to finish games.”

The Wildcats also got 12 points off the bench from guard/forward Sanjay Lumpkin and seven points, eight rebounds and five assists from guard JerShon Cobb. Northwestern, which committed 17 turnovers on the night, hit just 40 percent of its shots in the second half after making 70 percent in the first half.

“Northwestern is a very good basketball team,” Turgeon said. “They have had a lot of close losses. We were fortunate to win.”

Wells was the difference in the end.

“He had a presence of mind to follow the shot,” Collins said. “He made a great play at the end. The turnovers did us in. You have to finish the deal. I feel really awful for our team. We have to learn how to win.”

After the Terps cut the lead to 55-50, Northwestern center Alex Olah hit a jumper and McIntosh made two baskets in a row to give Northwestern a 61-50 advantage with 4:50 to go.

After a dunk by Wells, McIntosh responded again with an outside shot to give the Wildcats a 63-52 lead with 3:45 remaining.

A layup and free throw by Trimble cut the margin to 63-55, and a basket by Wells made it 63-57. Northwestern turned the ball over, and Wells scored on a layup to pull Maryland within 63-59.

Layman hit a 3-pointer with 1:04 left, and Northwestern’s lead was down to 65-62.

“Our pressure helped us force turnovers at the end,” Layman said.

Trimble made a layup with 29 seconds to go. After McIntosh missed the front end of a one-and-one, Trimble hit two free throws with 20.6 seconds left to give Maryland a 66-65 lead — its first advantage of the game.

After a basket by guard Tre Demps (nine points) gave the Wildcats the lead with 9.3 seconds to go, Wells followed Trimble’s miss for the game-winner.

“Our guys believe they are