Maryland Rallies to Shock Georgetown
Freshman Kevin Huerter of Terrapins blocks the potential winning layup of Hoyas Jagan Mosely. Maryland defeated Georgetown 76-75 in a thrilling game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.on November 15, 2016. Robert Eubanks/DC Sports Box
WASHINGTON, D.C.—An elated Mark Turgeon emerged from the locker room in a t-shirt. Moments ago he and his team celebrated with open containers of water like they had just won a championship game. Maryland (2-0) had overcome a nine-point deficit in the final two minutes of a game that seemed all but over.
 
Melo Trimble led the Terps with 22 points, including two clutch free throws that made the difference in a 76-75 win over the Georgetown Hoyas (1-1) at Verizon Center. Georgetown led 68-59 with 2:21 to go before the Terrapins ended the game on a 17-7 run.

"We just kept fighting," said the junior guard after his second 22-point performance of the season.

The last minute comeback was encouraging, not only did Trimble bounce back from a shaky first half to score 18 in the second, but the Terps freshman made plays amongst adversity as well. Guard Anthony Cowan did a little bit of everything with 11 points, five assists and five rebounds and forward Justin Jackson added 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.

LJ Peak led the way for Georgetown with 21 points. Junior Isaac Copeland scored a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Jessi Govan and Rodney Pryor scored 12 and 14 points respectively.

Tied 31-31 at halftime, Maryland found itself in a nine-point hole in the games waning minutes. Both teams were visibly frustrated with the officiating throughout the game. Turgeon’s frustrations boiled over, resulting in a technical halfway into the second half. Georgetown only made 16 field goals, seven assisted as most of their early possessions resulted in one-on-one plays. They made up for the shortfalls on offense by knocking down 37-of-42 free throws. Following the technical, Georgetown seized control, on a 14-9 run over the next five minutes to go up 65-56.

The Terrapins celebrate their thrilling win against the Hoyas. Maryland defeated Georgetown 76-75 in a thrilling game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.on November 15, 2016. Robert Eubanks/DC Sports Box
“I thought it hurt us,” Turgeon said of the technical. “It was a two-point game when it happened, all of a sudden we're down eight or nine. I felt bad for the team, I felt like I let them down a little bit. In the end, we just kept playing and we got lucky.”

Copeland hit two free throws to put the Hoyas up nine with 2:21 remaining. Maryland answered with a four straight points from Trimble on a driving layup and two free throws. Peak scored for the Hoyas on a play designed during a Hoya timeout but Huerter answered with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 70-66 with just under a minute remaining.

“L.J. did what L.J. does,” said Hoyas coach John Thompson III. “He is able to get to the basket. Jessie had some good plays.”

There were six foul calls, three on each team in the final minute. Peak hit two free throws to push the Hoya lead to 72-66 but Maryland answered out of a timeout with a Justin Jackson layup. Cowan hit two free throws after the Hoyas split a pair and Tre Campbell’s two free throws put his team up 75-72 with 17 seconds remaining.

Then came the madness. Trimble made a driving layup to get to within 74-75, leaving Georgetown with 11 seconds to inbound. After receiving the inbound, Campbell stepped out of bounds, giving Maryland a chance.

“We just have to go back and watch the film,” said Thompson. “Not that it is rocket science or anything. We know what we did wrong. We can't make those mistakes coming down at the end.”

"This is how crazy basketball is: I'm yelling foul at the top of my lungs, and he steps out of bounds," Turgeon said. "We were very fortunate tonight."

Trimble was subsequently fouled in the backcourt while receiving a long inbound pass. He made both foul shots, and Terps freshman Kevin Huerter blocked a driving shot attempt by Jagan Mosely just before the final buzzer.

“When he went up, to be honest, I said to myself, ‘Go straight up,'” Huerter said. “I was trying to avoid the contact, I thought he'd try to kind of lean in and go around. When I went up, I was mainly going to contest the shot and I kind of turned and blocked it off the backboard.”

The Terps bench stormed the court and Turgeon was right in the middle of it all, hugging nearby players and coaches.  With the win, Maryland completed its sweep of Georgetown in the teams’ Gavitt Tipoff Games home-and-home series.

Maryland plays again, Thursday at Xfinity Center against Division III St. Mary’s (Md.) College.

Game notes:

Maryland beat the Hoyas 75-71 last season and, with this victory, leads the series 38-27. This marked the first time Georgetown hosted Maryland since the 1993-94
 
Written by Teddy Owusu