No matter what the postseason holds for the Maryland Terrapins, they’ll be able to point to some real accomplishments in Kevin Willard’s first season as their coach.
For example, they won all their Big Ten home games.
Jahmir Young scored 18 points and Don Carey added 13 to help Maryland wrap up an undefeated home season in conference play with a 75-59 victory over No. 21 Northwestern on Sunday.
“Going 10-0 in this conference at home, that’s pretty impressive for this group,” Willard said. “I just think it shows you how great of a program this is, how great of a fan base it is.”
The Terrapins (20-9, 11-7) finished 16-1 overall at home, and they used unusually impressive 3-point shooting to turn back the Wildcats (20-9, 11-7). Maryland’s win also clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title for No. 5 Purdue.
The Boilermakers (24-5, 13-5) now have a record 25 Big Ten championships, three more than Indiana, which is one of several teams that can still tie Purdue at the top this year. Remarkably, Maryland and Northwestern also are in that group. The Terps have made huge strides since Willard arrived from Seton Hall, and Chris Collins’ Wildcats entered the AP Top 25 this week before losing to Illinois and Maryland.
“This league is hard. You play good teams,” Collins said. “We’re not down in any way. We’re still excited. We’ve got a big week coming up again, and you’ve just got to learn from these games and go home and try to make it right when you get another opportunity to play.”
The Terrapins have not been a good 3-point shooting team this season. They entered their game Sunday at 31% from beyond the arc but went 14 of 22 against Northwestern. Young and Carey made four each.
The 6-foot-1 Young threw down an emphatic dunk to give Maryland a 35-32 lead. He later made a 3 at the buzzer to put the Terps up 41-39 at halftime.
“I was feeling it from 3 early on, so just trying to get a shot up,” said Young, who scored 16 of his points before halftime.
Maryland was 8 for 11 from long distance in the first half, and both teams were shooting around 60% from the field. The Terps didn’t regress much in the second. A 3 by Carey capped a 12-2 run that put Maryland up 67-51, and it was smooth sailing from there.
Chase Audige led Northwestern with 16 points.