With its leading scorer back in action and the country’s top-ranked men’s basketball team visiting Xfinity Center, Maryland was dreaming big heading into its showdown with Purdue on Tuesday night. But the Terrapins never came close to an upset bid, with another bout of woeful three-point shooting contributing to a 67-53 loss.
Not even the return of dynamic point guard Jahmir Young could prevent the onslaught by the Boilermakers, who behind 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey dealt Maryland (9-5, 1-2 Big Ten) its first loss in College Park in 20 games and ended its five-game winning streak overall.
Young finished with a game-high 26 points on 12-for-23 shooting after sitting out one game last week and missing extended practice time because of flu-like symptoms. The fifth-year senior’s teammates provided scant support in a deflating outcome after the Terps defeated then-No. 3 Purdue by 14 in last season’s matchup at Xfinity Center.
“It’s definitely tough losing on your home court,” said Young, who had a career-high 37 points in his previous game, a 69-60 win at UCLA on Dec. 22. “We haven’t lost here since 2022, so to start the year taking an L — they’re a really good team, so if there’s anybody I would rather lose to, it would be them, but we’ll bounce back.”
Maryland shot 5 for 22 on three-pointers, extending a deficiency that has been especially pronounced against power conference opponents. In five such games this season, the Terps have made just 25 of 111 tries (22.5 percent) from behind the arc. They began the new year ranked 335th nationally in three-point shooting (27.5 percent).
Besides Young, who returned to practice two days earlier, no Maryland player reached double figures in scoring. Jordan Geronimo had nine points but shot 3 for 10, and Donta Scott chipped in eight points and seven rebounds as the Terps fell short of their first win against a No. 1 team since 2008.
Young “was on the shelf for five days with that sickness, so he practiced the last few days, but I’ve had to be really careful bringing him back,” Coach Kevin Willard said. “I think we just got off to a little bit of a slow start, and a lot of guys [were] seeing Zach for the first time and seeing that size.”
Edey led the Boilermakers with 23 points and 12 rebounds, but the reigning national player of the year committed a game-high five turnovers. It barely mattered as his presence neutralized Maryland’s second-leading scorer, Julian Reese. The 6-9 junior forward did not score for the first time this season, missing all four of his field goal attempts in 34 minutes.
Guard Braden Smith added 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Purdue (13-1, 2-1), which shot 9 for 20 on three-pointers and bumped its lead to 47-25 in the second half on Lance Jones’s layup with 15:15 to play. The Terps got no closer than 14 the rest of the way in their fifth consecutive loss to a top-ranked school.
“We just didn’t want to give it to them,” Boilermakers Coach Matt Painter said of the three-point line. “If we’ve got to stop the ball if Jahmir’s driving it or we’ve got to double the post ourselves and then they end up getting one, so be it. We can live with that. We just don’t have to help at all; just don’t let Geronimo or [DeShawn] Harris-Smith, those guys, get a wide-open shot.”
Purdue began the game on a 16-4 run that included three dunks by Edey. An early shooting swoon left Maryland struggling to catch up, partly because Edey limited opportunities in the paint. The Terps labored to get clean looks and frequently had to release low-percentage attempts with the shot clock running down. Those circumstances led to Maryland starting 1 for 12 from the field.
On the other end of the court, the Boilermakers delivered entry passes to Edey that resulted in layups or, when he was the recipient of double teams, crisp ball movement around the mostly uncluttered perimeter for open jumpers. Purdue led 32-19 at halftime and was never threatened from there.
“This is the best team in the country by far if you look at who they’ve beaten and who they’ve played,” Willard said. “They’re much better defensively than they were last season. For them to come in here and do this to us on our home court, that should be an eye-opener for everybody.”