The tone for the game was set very early on. Maryland raced out to a 5-0 lead, then a 19-8 lead, then a 32-16 lead behind the sharp shooting of guards Kevin Huerter, Anthony Cowan and Darryl Morsell. Northwestern, meanwhile, relied on the scoring of Scottie Lindsey (20 points, 5 rebounds) to keep them in the game. Towards the end of the half, the Wildcats made a push as Lindsey scored 11 points in 4 minutes to bring the ‘Cats within 5. The barrage included an acrobatic three and an emphatic alley-oop.
However, Northwestern never got closer than that, letting the Terrapins cruise to a comfortable win. Lindsey tried to play hero ball, taking more than twice as many shots as the closest Wildcat, but could not maintain his hot hand for the rest of the game. He ended up shooting 8-20, which was insufficient on a night when Pardon shot below 50% (4-9) and McIntosh went 0-5. Maryland wanted it more on Saturday and it showed, exemplified by this gif:2nd in the Big Ten in offensive reboundswith 82, trailing just the beast of a man that is Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy.
The only semi-realistic chance Northwestern has of making the NCAA tournament is by winning the Big Ten tournament. That would require beating a team like Wisconsin or Iowa, then beating a Michigan State/Purdue/Nebraska, then beating an Ohio State or Michigan-caliber team in the final. Yeah...I don’t think so either.
NU has the chance to play the role of spoiler and gain some dignity on Saturday versus No. 4 Michigan State (24-3) at Allstate Arena.