Maryland Basketball Hold Their Own Despite Falling to No. 3 Purdue

EAST LANSING, MI - JANUARY 4: Bruno Fernando
EAST LANSING, MI - JANUARY 4: Bruno Fernando /

A depleted Maryland basketball team faced a daunting road matchup against Big Ten powerhouse No. 3 Purdue.

After Maryland basketball wasted a chance to add a signature win to their lifeless NCAA Tournament resume against Michigan State basketball, you’d think matter couldn’t get worse. Well, it did.

According to Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus, Michal Cekovsky didn’t make the road trip to Purdue after injuring his left heel. The injury puts Maryland in a particularly challenging spot with their top two forwards Justin Jackson and Ivan Bender out for the season and now possibly their center.

And to make matters more difficult, Maryland gets their second consecutive top-10 opponent, this time on the road against No. 3 Purdue as the Terps put out their 14th different starting lineup this season.

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As a result, the promising Maryland freshman Bruno Fernando flourished as the Terps starting center, recording his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

At halftime, the Terps trailed by 11 points and began the second half 5-0 run, cutting the lead to just six points.

Kevin Huerter a.k.a. the Red Mamba, caught fire in the second half, sinking back-to-back 3-pointers to bring Maryland within three points with 9:09 remaining. Furthermore, the Terps second-half surge comes with their two centers left on the roster on the bench with four fouls each.

However, Purdue answers with a 7-0 run following the timeout to extend the lead back to 10 points as 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas proved too big for the young Terps.

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Meanwhile, despite being in foul trouble for most of the second half, Terps Fernando records his second career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The other Maryland freshman Daryl Moresell displayed his smooth mid-range jumper, hitting 6-of-10 shots for 13 points.

Next, Maryland returns home where they host the Wisconsin basketball on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET as the Terps try to cease a three-game skid.