Overview: Northwestern and Maryland played equally bad in the first half, but the second half was a completely different game. The Terrapins were better than Northwestern in every way in the final 20 minutes, as Maryland outscored Northwestern 49-31. Maryland’s Dez Wells, Nick Faust and Alex Len all finished in double figures while Northwestern’s star Drew Crawford had a rough night, scoring 10 points and shooting for 4 for 14. Maryland’s size also played a difference as it outrebounded Northwestern 42-15.
Turning point: After an ugly first half by both teams (they combined 18-of-53 shooting), Maryland came out a different team in the opening minutes of the second half. The Terrapins outscored Northwestern 19-10 over the first six minutes of the second half and ran away with the game. Wells and Len combined for 11 points during the run.
Why Maryland won: The Terrapins’ size was just too much for Northwestern. Len, who is 7-foot-1, led the way with a game-high 13 rebounds, but it was a team effort for Maryland on the boards. Six other players had three or more rebounds.
Why Northwestern lost: The Wildcats’ inside play was a huge factor in their loss, but their offense relied way too much on the 3-pointer as well. Northwestern shot 6 of 25 from 3-point range. Maryland hit five 3-pointers in 13 attempts.
Star(s) of the game: Len and Wells each played a big part in dismantling Northwestern in the second half. Wells finished with a game-high 23 points. Len had 13 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
What it means for Maryland: The Terrapins continue to build a strong start to their season. Their lone loss remains to Kentucky by three points in their season opener. Otherwise, Maryland has won its last five games pretty convincingly. Its smallest margin of victory has been nine points.
What it means for Northwestern: The question that will surround Northwestern all season is whether it is a NCAA tournament team. Tuesday was not a good sign. The Wildcats trailed by as many as 21 points on their home floor.
What’s next: Maryland faces George Mason in the BB&T Classic on Dec. 2. Northwestern will host local team Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. The Wildcats have a tough upcoming schedule with Baylor and Butler following UIC.