Kevin Huerter’s career night couldn’t help Maryland beat Syracuse in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Feature photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.
Maryland Terrapins broke multiple personal records against the undefeated Syracuse Orange, but that was not quite enough.
The Terps lost to their former ACC counterparts, 72-70 in a thrilling Big Ten/ACC showdown in the Carrier Dome.
Maryland struggled against the Orange’s 2-3 zone, repeating the same mistakes they made in the Emerald Coast Classic against St. Bonaventure, creating their first loss of the season. Although Syracuse took home the win, The Terps players showed the 20,000 fans lined up to watch the slugfest what it is like to not give up by only letting them get a seven point lead against them.
Sophomore Kevin Huerter, the former New York state “Mr. Basketball,” had a season-high 23 points Monday night in front of his home crowd, shooting 8-for-11. Huerter is not only leading the Maryland team in assist, but he is also second on the team in scoring. With a career high of seven 3-pointers Huerter was able to help the team in their first Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Freshman guard Darryl Morsell also proved he could hang with the ACC team with a career-high of five assists. The Terps struggled against defensive zones last year, consistently passing the ball outside instead of feeding it to the high post, Morsell was able to help the Terps break the Syracuse defense. With Morsell at the top of the key, Huerter was able to knock out multiple shots from beyond the arch.
The Terps gave away the first two points of the game with a turnover by Huerter and a foul by junior guard Dion Wiley in the first two minutes. After subbing out Wiley for Morsell with 16 minutes left in the first half, Maryland tied the score 10-10 with a 3-pointer by sophomore forward Justin Jackson assisted by Morsell, his first of five. With 13 minutes left in the game, the Terps take their first lead of the night with Morsell hitting a jumper. The score bounced back and forth between the two teams but Syracuse was able to lead the game with 7 points with five minutes left on the clock after a foul from junior forward Ivan Bender. Maryland was able to come back with three minutes left in the first half with the defensive rebound by senior center Michal Cekovsky, allowing Huerter to shoot his first 3-pointer of the night. Maryland heads into the half trailing the Orange, 35-36.
The Orange scored the first two points of the second half leading the Terps 38-35. With a steal by Jackson and an assist from Huerter, Anthony Cowan Jr. hits a three pointer tying the game 38-38 with 18 minutes left in the game. Maryland takes the first lead of the second half with two free throws from freshman forward Bruno Fernando and a defensive rebound from Jackson giving Fernando a chance to put two more on the board making the Terps the lead by four, their biggest lead of the night 44-40.
Maryland slowly loses momentum with two fouls and two turnovers from Morsell and Cowan, giving the Orange a lead of four. Huerter retaliates with a 3-pointer closing the gap to one point trail for the Terps with less than ten seconds on the clock. Syracuse reacted with a dunk from Tyus Battle, making the score 72-69. With less than five seconds left on the clock, Cowan receives a foul but misses one of the two free throws ending the game for the Maryland.
Maryland will have their first Big Ten challenge of the season against Purdue December 1st at the Xfinity Center.