Missed free throws sink Maryland in 73-70 loss at Purdue

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Maryland (5-3, 0-2) erased a 15-point first-half deficit to eventually tie the game with a minute left, but a layup from Purdue’s (7-3, 2-1) Eric Hunter Jr. and late free throw sealed the deal for the Boilermakers, 73-70 on Christmas Day.

After trailing for the entire game, Maryland stormed back in the second half led by a 15-point outburst from Donta Scott. The Philadelphia, Pa. native would key the Terps’ comeback bid late, hitting a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 68-66 at the 2:13 mark, before converting a layup with 58 seconds left to tie the game. 

After Hunter Jr. answered with the go-ahead layup, Maryland had a chance to tie the game back up after Darryl Morsell was fouled at the rim. A pair of missed free throws would keep the hosts in the lead, but the door remained open after a missed Trevion Williams free throw on the other end. 

Down 73-70 in the closing seconds, Eric Ayala attempted to draw a foul on a long three-point attempt, but no call was made. Purdue scooped the ensuing rebound to eventually seal the win.

In addition to Scott, Aaron Wiggins (14), Ayala (13) and Morsell all finished in double figures. 

The Terrapins found themselves in a hole early, after the Boilermakers raced out to a 27-12 advantage at the 7:58 mark in the first half. Maryland was able to stop the bleeding after trailing by 13 at half, getting a boost from a 10-0 run capped by three pointers from Reese Mona and Jairus Hamilton to make it 45-42 with 13:38 remaining.  

Maryland returns to action on Monday, Dec. 28 at #9 Wisconsin. The game will tip off at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on FS1 and the Maryland Sports Radio Network.