College Park, Md. — Halfway there in its bid for a ninth straight victory, No. 12 Purdue suddenly became incapable of making a layup, popping a short jumper or sinking a shot from beyond the arc.
It was a shortcoming that could be attributed in no small degree to a relentless defensive effort by 24th-ranked Maryland.
Jalen Smith scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and the Terrapins frustrated the Boilermakers and sharpshooter Carsen Edwards in a 70-56 victory Tuesday night.
Down by eight at halftime, Maryland (19-6, 10-4 Big Ten) took the lead for the first time with 10 minutes left before pulling away. The comeback was fueled by Smith, Eric Alaya and fellow freshman Aaron Wiggins.
Maryland outscored Purdue 40-18 in the second half, limiting the Boilermakers to 17-percent shooting — including 1 for 16 from 3-point range.
“In the second half, they were just making it harder on us,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We had some open looks that didn’t go down. We had some (forced shots) that we’d like to have back. But there were still a lot of possessions in-between that Maryland’s defense was just better than our offense.”
Ayala scored 15, Anthony Cowan Jr. added 12 and Fernando Bruno had 12 points and 12 rebounds, his seventh straight double-double and 16th of the season. Wiggins scored 11 on 4-of-6 shooting.
“We get better every possession,” coach Mark Turgeon said of his band of youths. “We’re really coming. Defensively, we’re really getting at a high level and our half-court offense was really good in the second half.”
Edwards scored 24 for Purdue (17-7, 10-3), but was limited to seven points after halftime on 2-for-13 shooting. The Boilermakers finished with four turnovers and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, but they couldn’t get the ball in the basket over the final 20 minutes.
“It’s pretty amazing what this young group is doing defensively,” Turgeon said.
Purdue had won five straight over Maryland, including a 62-60 decision on Dec. 5.
Maryland made its first three shots of the second half and held the Boilermakers to 1-for-11 shooting during a 10-2 run that tied it at 40.
Edwards responded with a layup and 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms added three free throws for a 45-42 lead, and Edwards buried a 3-pointer for a six-point cushion.
Successive 3s by Ayala again knotted the score, and Maryland took its first lead when Smith slammed home an alley-oop pass from Cowan.
It was 50-all before Wiggins drilled a 3 to put the Terrapins ahead for good.
Edwards scored 17 points, and the Boilermakers committed only two turnovers in taking a 38-30 halftime lead.
Maryland missed its first seven field-goal tries, five by Smith, to fall into a quick hole. Purdue led 26-17 before Fernando took his first shot, an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Darryl Morsell.
After the Terrapins cut an 11-point deficit to 33-30, Edwards made two foul shots and Ryan Cline nailed a buzzer-beating shot from well beyond the arc.
“Coming into halftime, we didn’t feel we were playing as tough as we could,” Ayala said. “In the second half we played with passion, with love for the game. It showed.”
Eastern Michigan 66, (at) Ohio 57: James Thompson IV tallied 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead Eastern Michigan to a win over Ohio.
Elijah Minnie had 19 points for Eastern Michigan (11-13, 5-6 Mid-American Conference). Paul Jackson added 10 points and seven assists.
Jason Carter had 18 points for the Bobcats (11-12, 3-8), whose losing streak stretched to four games. Teyvion Kirk added 18 points and six rebounds. Doug Taylor had three blocks.
Eastern Michigan plays Kent State on the road on Saturday. Ohio matches up against Central Michigan on the road on Saturday.
(At) Bowling Green 79, Central Michigan 72: Dylan Frye scored 23 points as Bowling Green topped Central Michigan. Justin Turner added 20 points for the Falcons. Turner also had six rebounds for the Falcons.
Demajeo Wiggins had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Bowling Green (17-7, 9-2 MAC).
Shawn Roundtree had 20 points for the Chippewas (16-8, 5-6). David DiLeo added 15 points. Larry Austin Jr. had 13 points and eight assists.
The Falcons improve to 2-0 against the Chippewas on the season. Bowling Green defeated Central Michigan 97-87 on Jan. 12.
(At) Western Michigan 76, Northern Illinois 74: Seth Dugan had 26 points and 11 rebounds as Western Michigan snapped its 10-game losing streak. Michael Flowers had 14 points for Western Michigan (7-17, 1-10 MAC). Jared Printy added 13 points. Kawanise Wilkins had nine rebounds for the home team.
Eugene German had 29 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (12-13, 5-7), whose losing streak reached four games. Dante Thorpe added 14 points and five steals. Lacey James had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Western Michigan plays Kent State at home on Thursday.
No. 2 Duke 71, (at) No. 16 Louisville 69: Cam Reddish made a tying 3-pointer with 1:28 left and the go-ahead free throws with 14 seconds remaining, helping No. 2 Duke overcome a 23-point second-half deficit.
After making 2 of 17 shots to open the second half, the Blue Devils (22-2, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) got hot and shut down the Cardinals over the final 9:54. Zion Williamson (27 points, 12 rebounds) ignored foul trouble and instead drew whistles in his favor, making 8 of 9 from the line before Reddish added a couple of 3s in between free throws – the last two of which followed an official review of a play under Duke’s basket.
Christen Cunningham tried to tie it for Louisville (17-8, 8-4), but his jumper in the lane bounced off the rim and into Williamson’s hands as the final seconds ticked off. The Blue Devils celebrated as they left the court after completing the second-biggest second-half comeback in program history.
No. 19 LSU 73, (at) No. 5 Kentucky 71: Kavell Bigby-Williams’s tip-in at the buzzer lifted LSU to a win over Kentucky.
With the game tied after Keldon Johnson made two free throws with 6 seconds left, Skylar Mays drove the length of the court. His shot missed but Bigby-Williams got the offensive rebound and scored to give the Tigers their first win over the Wildcats since 2009. It was just the sixth time ever that LSU (20-4, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) has beaten Kentucky (20-4, 10-2).
Tremont Waters, who finished with 15 points to lead the Tigers, hit two free throws with 20 seconds left to give LSU a two-point lead before Johnson’s free throws tied it.
Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams scored 12 each and Mays had 11 for the Tigers.
No. 10 Marquette 92, (at) DePaul 73: Markus Howard scored 36 points, Sam Hauser had 17 and Marquette cruised by DePaul.
Howard went 12 for 21 from the field and 8 for 10 at the free-throw line in another impressive performance. He has scored at least 30 points in four of his last five games.
Sacar Anim added 12 points as Marquette (21-4, 10-2 Big East) won its second straight game since a disappointing 70-69 loss to St. John’s.
It was mostly smooth sailing for the Golden Eagles all night long. Hauser went to the locker room after he was poked in his right eye with 6:51 left, but he returned to the bench to watch the final minute with his jubilant teammates.
Femi Olujobi scored 19 points for DePaul (13-10, 5-7), and Max Strus had 16
No. 18 Kansas State 71, (at) Texas 64: Barry Brown and Xavier Sneed each scored 16 points, and Kansas State beat Texas for its ninth straight Big 12 victory.
Three other Wildcats scored in double figures, Dean Wade with 12 points, and Kamau Stokes and Makol Mawien with 11 apiece.
Kerwin Roach led Texas (14-11, 6-6 Big 12) with 17 points, and Courtney Ramey added 10.
Kansas State (19-5, 9-2 in Big 12) converted nearly 55 percent of its field goal attempts, including 56.5 in the second half.
No. 25 Buffalo 76, (at) Akron 70: CJ Massinburg scored 21 points, Dontay Caruthers added 15 and Buffalo turned up its defensive intensity in the second half and held on to beat Akron, dropping the Zips to 0-31 against ranked teams.
The Bulls (21-3, 9-2 Mid-American Conference) were held to one of the lowest point totals this season, but the defending conference champions were able to do enough against the Zips (14-10, 6-5), ranked 13th nationally in scoring defense.
Caruthers came off the bench and gave the Bulls some solid minutes at both ends, drawing a charging foul during a key second-half stretch for Buffalo, which forced two 30-second clock violations after halftime.
Loren Cristian Jackson scored 20 and Tyler Cheese 16 for the Zips, who kept fighting and closed within 73-70 on Daniel Utomi’s 3-pointer with 16.3 seconds left.