The Michigan State Spartans entered College Park on Sunday afternoon riding a three-game winning streak, and left with a blowout defeat at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins. The final score was 73-55 and Maryland did not relinquish its lead for the game’s entire duration.
The game did not start well for the Spartans, as the Terps went on an 11-0 run to the first half. Michigan State missed its first six shots from the field, including five attempts from three-point range, as Maryland protected the paint and forced MSU to take shots from deep. Aaron Henry finally got the Spartans on the board with a layup with 13:51 to play in the first half.
MSU would find at least somewhat of a rhythm after Henry’s first bucket, but Maryland controlled the entire first half, taking a 35-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Spartans continued to struggle from behind the arc, making just four shots from deep on 15 attempts (26.7 percent), and hitting just nine shots on 25 total field goal attempts (36 percent) after the first 20 minutes of play. The Terps were hot from deep, hitting six of 10 three-point attempts (60 percent) and shooting 44 percent from the floor overall. The Spartans held a plus-two rebounding margin advantage (17-15) and had four offensive rebounds to Maryland’s one in the first half.
The shooting woes continued for Michigan State in the second half. The Spartans hit just four of the team’s first 13 attempts to begin the half before making three of their next five shots. The Spartans would eventually cut the Terrapins’ lead to five with just under 10 minutes to play in the game, but MSU went cold shortly after that. Maryland continued to pour it on, shooting 55.6 percent in the second half and eventually stretching its lead to be out of MSU’s reach.
Overall, Maryland shot 21-for-43 (48.8 percent) from the floor, including shooting 50 percent from three-point range (8-for-16). Michigan State shot a dismal 33.3 percent from the field, including making just eight three-pointers on 28 attempts (28.6 percent). The Spartans did out-rebound the Terrapins 33-31 overall, including grabbing 13 offensive rebounds to Maryland’s three, but the Terps had a plus-eight advantage on the defensive glass (28-20).
There was also quite a disparity at the free-throw line. Maryland came into today’s game shooting just 69.3 percent as a team from the free-throw line, but made 23 of its 24 attempts (95.8 percent) from the line. The Spartans, on the other hand, attempted just 15 free throws and made just nine of those attempts from the charity stripe (60 percent). But it was Michigan State’s inability to hit shots that was the difference in this game. Maryland played sound defense all game long and didn’t allow Michigan State to get much inside, as the Terrapins forced the Spartans to beat them from deep, which MSU could not do.
Aaron Henry, who was on an absolute tear coming into today’s game, really struggled, and was often double-teamed or triple-teamed by the Terrapins. After beginning the game hitting four of his first six shots, Henry went cold, missing his next 10 shots from the field. If Henry isn’t leading the charge offensively, it generally means the Spartans will struggle as a team. He finished with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Joshua Langford also struggled with his shot, making just three field goals on 13 attempts. Langford did hit two three-pointers and four free throws, and led the Spartans with 12 points. He passed Earvin “Magic” Johnson on Michigan State’s all-time scoring list on Sunday as well. Joey Hauser chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds, while Gabe Brown and Malik Hall scored seven points each.
Eric Ayala led Maryland with 22 points, while adding six rebounds and three assists. The Terps had three other players with double-figures in the scoring column: Aaron Wiggins (13), Darryl Morsell (11) and Hakim Hart (10).
In what is now a must-win game, Michigan State looks to get back on track at the Breslin Center against the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday night.