In “total failure,” the Terps annihilated at Michigan

Maryland men’s basketball started the new year in ugly fashion, losing to Michigan, 81-46. It was the Terps’ worst Big Ten loss since joining the conference in 2014.

The Terps struggled from the tip and finished with no scorers in double figures. In all, Maryland shot 26.5% from the floor, 20% from three and 55.6% from the line. Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson led all scorers with a career-high 32 points to go along with 12 rebounds.

“This was a total failure by me to try to get a team somewhat ready,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “I don’t think there’s anything I can say besides I totally let down this program and these kids so this is on me this is a total, total failure.”

Maryland collapsed immediately, allowing Michigan to open the game with a 17-0 run that included a perfect 7-7 mark from the floor and three Terrapin turnovers that resulted in eight points. The Terps did not get on the board until nearly six minutes into the game when Noah Batchelor hit one of two free throw attempts.

The Terps’ first field goal came by way of an Ian Martinez three-point bucket with 12:09 left in the first half, but the struggles continued. Michigan’s efficiency dipped in the middle of the half, but the Wolverines built out to a 25-4 lead by the under-eight media timeout. Heading into the final media timeout of the first half, Hunter Dickinson was assessed a flagrant I foul for pulling down Batchelor on the wing in an attempt to sell a tie up. Batchelor sank both free throws and Hakim Hart followed with a layup that turned it into a 33-11 Michigan advantage.

Maryland trailed Michigan, 44-13, through 20 minutes thanks in part to 13.3% shooting from the floor and eight turnovers. Hart, one of four Terrapin scorers in the first half, led the team with five points while Dickinson had 18 points and five boards for the Wolverines.

To start the second half, Maryland came out with a lineup of mostly reserves that seemed to play with renewed energy. The Terps outscored Michigan, 10-8, across the first five minutes, not cutting into the 52-23 deficit much, but putting some fight together after that lackluster first period.

In the midst of an 0-4 Michigan field goal drought that lasted 4:39, Willard was assessed a technical foul that allowed the Wolverines to get on the board from the charity stripe. As the Terps fought to make buckets of their own, the Wolverines scored five points from the line during that stretch to maintain their advantage.

Julian Reese spirit Patrick Emilien were both fouled out with just under 10 minutes remaining, finishing with a combined two points, five rebounds and two turnovers. Caelum Swanton-Rodger was thrown into the fire for the final stretch, finishing with four points on 2-2 shooting with one rebound.

“[The reserves], they played out hard,” Willard said. “Noah came out and gave us a good effort, I thought Johari looked better than he’s looked in a while just from an aggressive standpoint. Spirit [Swanton-Rodger], I mean, you know what, he’s out there. At least he was hammering people and being physical… So this is on me, it’s got nothing to do with the players. This is totally on me and I’ll get it right.”

The Terps attempted to press after makes despite reserves playing on both sides and were unable to make any substantial comeback, eventually falling by 35 points.

Maryland will look to bounce back against Rutgers on Thursday in another Big Ten road matchup.

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