Young scores 20 points, Terps upset No. 3 Purdue
COLLEGE PARK – Coming off a home win over Penn State, the Maryland men’s basketball team (18-8, 9-6) had an even more complex task of hosting No. 3-ranked Purdue on Thursday evening.
Yet, the Terrapins were up for the challenge. Jahmir Young scored a team-high 20 points – his 12th game in a row with double-digit scoring – as Maryland shocked Purdue 68-54 in front of a sellout crowd at Xfinity Center.
The win marked the first time the Terrapins (18-8, 9-6) beat an AP Top 5 team since Jan. 28, 2016, when the team beat Iowa. It also came exactly 10 years after Maryland upset former conference foe Duke, who was ranked No. 2 at the time.
Like in the Blue Devils’ victory, the fans stormed the College Park court after Maryland knocked off the Boilermakers (23-4, 12-4), celebrating the historic feat.
“We live for moments like this,” said Young. “We live for moments to be in front of the camera when the lights are on. It was really just playing our game, especially to do it at home, that’s just a special moment.”
“I’m just happy for the kids,” said Maryland head coach Kevin Willard. “This is all about that group of kids. Nothing to do with Kevin Willard or the staff. They earned it for the students, the fanbase. I think that was a great environment in a great moment.”
Julian Reese dropped 10 points and eight rebounds, Hakim Hart had 13 points, and Patrick Emilien finished with nine points off the bench.
Both teams traded buckets early in the first half, with the score tied at 18 with 5:55 left. After that, the largest lead held was a six-point cushion by Purdue. The Boilers led at halftime, 28-25, with Braden Smith (18 points) going 5 for 5 from the floor for 10 points.
Purdue extended its lead to eight early in the second half, but then Maryland blew past their Big Ten foes, going on a 29-4 run.
First, the Terrapins scored 10 straight points, obtaining a two-point lead thanks to a Reese go-ahead layup. Young and Reese each had four points during the stretch.
The Boilers briefly regained the lead when Brandon Newman hit a 3-pointer, but Reese made another layup, followed by a fastbreak dunk from Emilien to put Maryland up 43-40 with 11:54 remaining.
As part of the Terps’ dominant second-half run, Ian Martinez converted a three-point play, and Hart hit a floater to extend the lead to 58-42, igniting the home crowd into a frenzy.
Maryland led by as many as 18, the largest deficit Purdue had faced all season.
“Just beating a top-five team in the country,” said Reese. “It’s definitely a confidence booster. But again, we’ve got to keep working.”
Feature photo by Michael Smith/The Sports Pulse