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What We Learned: Maryland Terrapins 74, Northwestern Wildcats 64

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Melo Trimble could not be stopped on Wednesday night in Evanston.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, Northwestern, coming off of a huge win at Wisconsin on Sunday, fell just short of making history by winning the most Big Ten games Northwestern has ever had. Even when he was matched up against Vic Law, Northwestern had no answer for Melo Trimble. What exactly does this win mean for Maryland and the Wildcats?

Here’s what we learned from the game.

What We Learned:

1. Although Maryland is young and relies on more than one player, Melo Trimble is still a star.

Melo Trimble had quite a game for Maryland tonight. He finished the game with 32 points on 12-17 shooting, 4-5 from beyond the arc and 4-5 from the line in 32 minutes of play. He also collected six rebounds and dished out three assists, while only turning the ball over twice.

With Anthony Cowhan now on the floor, Melo is able to score the ball more because he doesn’t need to be the primary ball handler all the time. He was left wide open quite a few times from three and ran the floor on both ends. Vic Law, Northwestern’s best defender, did not have an answer for him.

2. Northwestern has been winning with their defense

In a game when Northwestern couldn’t get their offense to go in the first half and had multiple scoring droughts, their defense kept the game from slipping away early. They didn’t score for over 8 minutes, but they were only down by 10 at the half.

In the second half, it was evident they were fatigued and lost a lot of their defensive footing. Melo was able to create more space between him and Vic Law to score more, Northwestern missed assignments on guarding players, and Northwestern simply couldn’t keep up with Melo Trimble’s pace. This is a game when Scottie Lindsey and his 16 points per game would have really helped Northwestern.

3. Early foul trouble hurt Northwestern.

Bryant McIntosh had to sit early on in the game after he picked up three early fouls. Northwestern ran into a long scoring drought after McIntosh exited the game. Chris Collins couldn’t afford to keep him in because he risked picking up a fourth foul, but he couldn’t afford to keep him out either. Isiah Brown struggled with his size to score points and no other player could get in position to get a shot to go.

Chris Collins mentioned in the post-game press conference that Bryant McIntosh having to sit out 8 minutes in the first half because Northwestern is a different team with McIntosh on the court.

Overall

This was a classic match up of two of the best teams in the Big Ten. While Maryland came away with the win, Northwestern showed in the first half the way they’ve survived without Scottie Lindsey: their defense. Getting Lindsey back will be a key piece for Northwestern down the stretch.

Mark Turgeon and Chris Collins are both candidates for coach of the year, so it will be exciting to see how the season ends. Northwestern may have lost, but they’re still on the verge of making history.