Purdue opens Big Ten play with gritty win at Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Isaac Haas scored 21 points, Dakota Mathias added 20 and Purdue opened defense of its Big Ten regular season title by holding off Maryland 80-75 Friday night.
The Boilermakers (7-2, 1-0) blew a 14-point lead, then let a 10-point cushion shrink to 62-60 before Mathias and the 7-foot-3 Haas took over.
Mathias made pair of foul shots and Haas had seven points in a 10-2 surge that finally gave Purdue some separation.
It was 76-68 with 58 seconds left before the Terrapins launched their final comeback. Anthony Cowan made a 4-point play, then a 3-point play to cut the gap to 78-75.
Shooting with a chance to tie it, Jared Nickens missed badly on a jumper from the corner, and Purdue’s P.J. Thompson clinched it with two free throws.
Carsen Edwards scored 18 for the Boilermakers, who got all their points from the five starters.
Cowan scored 20 and Kevin Huerter had 19 for Maryland (6-3, 0-1). Darryl Morsell went 3 for 16 from the floor, Justin Jackson went 1 for 8 and the Terrapins shot 35 percent in their first home loss.
Maryland has dropped three of four.
The Terrapins scored the first seven points after halftime, the last of them on a 3-pointer by Huerter, to take their first lead at 44-43.
Soon after that, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was given a technical foul for protesting a call on the Terps’ end of the court. Vincent Edwards made both free throws as part of an 11-0 run that made it 54-44 with 15:50 to go.
The Terps came back, but the Boilermakers never folded.
Maryland trailed by 14 points in the first half before closing with a 10-3 run to make it 43-37 at the break.
Mathias scored 18 and made all seven of his field goal tries, including four 3-pointers, and Haas added 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
Mathias hit his first five shots and the Boilermakers went 10 for 12 from the floor in bolting to a 25-13 lead. After Hass scored eight of Purdue’s first 13 points, Mathias accounted for 10 points in a 12-3 spree.
It was 32-18 with 7 minutes left in the half. At that juncture, the Boilermakers had made 13 of 17 field goal tries and Maryland was 6 for 22.
BIG PICTURE
Purdue: A solid performance by the Boilermakers on the road bodes well for the team’s effort to get back into the Top 25 and defend its Big Ten title.
Maryland: The Terrapins’ inability to win close games has proven costly. Although Maryland rallied past Bucknell on Nov. 18, their three losses are by a combined nine points.
UP NEXT
Purdue: Hosts Northwestern on Sunday.
Maryland: At Illinois on Sunday night.