Illinois built a 12-point lead with 5:35 remaining in the game, but the Terps rallied back, cutting the lead to two on freshman Terrell Stoglins three-pointer with 14 seconds left.
With Maryland forced to foul, Illinois D.J. Richardson hit both free throws, breaking a stretch of four misses in a row for the team, to put the game out of reach in the closing seconds.
After losing to No. 4 Pitt in the tournament semi-final the night before due largely in part to missed free throws and rebounding struggles, the Terps managed to improve in both facets of the game. Maryland went 13-of-18 from the line, and out rebounded Illinois 39-to-26.
Unfortunately for Maryland, Illinois couldnt miss from behind the arc. The Illini were 6-of-10 in the first half, and finished 10-for-19 from downtown. Illinois Demetri McCamey led all scorers with 20 points, was 3-of-3 on three-pointers, and 7-for-9 overall.
They are a great streak shooting team, Maryland head coach Gary Williams said of the Illini. Wherever you make the mistake defensively, that's where the ball seems to end up. It's not just one guy looking for his threes; whoever has the ball is looking to get the ball to the guy that's open
Five Terps scored in double figures in the game. Stoglin led Maryland with 17, and is now averaging 11.4 points per game. Jordan Williams notched his fourth double-double in the teams five games, with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Dino Gregory also picked up a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Despite losing both games at Madison Square Garden, Williams took some positives from the teams trip to New York.
I'm really proud of the team. Both nights here we could have folded, but we didn't, Williams said. I found out some things that I could never find out in practice, and that's the key when you play against top-flight teams, you learn a lot about your players.
The Terps return to action in College Park on Tuesday night when they welcome Delaware State to the Comcast Center.