Game Day Grades - No.14 Maryland

A cold start and a cold finish was enough to make No.5 Wisconsin wait another five days for a chance to clinch a share of the Big Ten title, as the Badgers' mistakes on both ends of the floor resulted in a 59-53 defeat at Maryland Tuesday night. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: D

After finding success early and scoring seven points in the first three minutes, Wisconsin’s offense struggled to find any sort of consistency against a Maryland defense and it hurt them in the long run, finishing the game only 20-for-52 (38.5 percent) from the field.

Wisconsin didn’t have any long scoring droughts and did manage to get to the free throw line at times when they struggled to make field goals, but the Badgers couldn’t consistently capitalize. Wisconsin finished the game 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) from the line, its lowest free throw percentage since the loss to Rutgers (56.3 percent).

Three starters for Wisconsin finished the game in double digits with Frank Kaminsky leading the way with 18 points in 36 minutes. Sam Dekker had 14 points and Nigel Hayes added 10 points on 3-for-6 shooting. This was Hayes’ first game back in double digits since the win over Illinois. Josh Gasser and Bronson Koenig didn’t shoot well, finishing with a combined 9 points on 3-for-17 from the field.

Wisconsin doesn’t beat themselves by turning the ball over and finished with only eight turnovers, but the Badgers made some untimely miscues. Down 45-44 with 7:48 to go, Dekker registered a steal against Melo Trimble but had trouble getting the ball under control on his break to the basket. The result was Dekker dribbling the ball out of bounds underneath his basket, as the junior tried too hard to make a play instead of waiting for his teammates to get down the floor with him.

The second costly turnover was a Duje Dukan travel at 6:03 in the second half, a play in which it appeared Dukan was fouled and a sequence where Dukan never had full possession of the ball. Instead of UW possibly taking the lead, Dez Wells hit two free throws on Maryland’s next possession to break the tie and give Maryland the lead for good.

Defense: D-

Wisconsin had no answer for Wells and his 26 points, as he made it a point to try and get the ball around the basket as often as possible. Even when he was forced to settle for jump shots, opposed to lay ups, he still was able to be successful. Melo Trimble was second with 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field. Jake Layman - the third leading scorer for Maryland - was held below his scoring average and finished with six points.

In the first half, Maryland was able to consistently get the ball down low or find driving lanes to convert on layups instead of settling for perimeter shots. Maryland’s high-percentage shots yielded a 54.2 percent shooting percentage in the first half and an 11-point halftime lead, the biggest deficit UW had faced all year. Even with Wisconsin pressuring the Terrapins better in the second half, Maryland still finished the game 24-for-50 (48 percent) from the field.

Despite Maryland averaging 12.2 turnovers a game, Wisconsin could only force six turnovers and scored only five points off the miscues. Wells entered the game averaging 3.1 turnovers but didn’t make any mistakes with the ball. Trimble was the only player for Maryland who registered multiple turnovers, finishing the game with three.

The Terrapins didn’t miss many shots, but Wisconsin limited them to just seven offensive rebounds and only eight second-chance points. But like Wisconsin committing untimely turnovers, the Badgers at times failed to come up with critical rebounds off of missed shots down the stretch.

Overall: D

Give Wisconsin credit for digging out of an 11-point hole on the road against a top 15 team to tie the game, but the Badgers simply couldn’t capitalize on their offensive opportunities or come up with multiple big stops down the stretch.

After knocking down 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to tie the score at 47, the Badgers were only able to make one field goals over the last 6:36. During that same time span, Maryland went 3-for-6 from the field and also went 6-for-8 from the free throw line. Maryland finding ways to win the basketball game down the stretch proved to be the deciding factor.

Another telling stat was on the glass. Both teams grabbed 31 rebounds, but Wisconsin registered 10 offensive rebounds that only translated into six points off of its second-chance opportunities. Kaminsky, Hayes, Dekker, Gasser and Dukan all recorded two offensive rebounds, but Wisconsin needed to do a better job of capitalizing on the extra possessions.

Wisconsin could only register 26 points in the paint with Maryland doing a good job of crowding the land and forcing the Badgers to settle for perimeter jumpers. Wisconsin struggled from the 3-point line - finishing the game 6-for-22 (27.3 percent). The shots Wisconsin took were open at times. They just simply weren’t falling. Wisconsin shot better from the perimeter in the second half (5-for-11) to help make the game close.

Dukan was the only player to score for Wisconsin off the bench as he finished the game with two points on 1-for-3 shooting from the field. Zak Showalter and Vitto Brown only played a combined five minutes in the first half. Dukan played 17 minutes (his most since Jan.20) mostly because of Hayes being in foul trouble, but all the starters logged at least 30 minutes for the fifth straight game.

Game MVP: Frank Kaminsky. The senior tried to do what he could to help Wisconsin pull out a win, but it wasn’t in the cards. Leading Wisconsin with 18 points (7-for-14 shooting) and adding eight rebounds, Kaminsky at times was able to make some difficult shots in the paint and scored 12 points in the second half. He also finished with two assists and a block. The only thing Kaminsky didn’t do well was free throw shooting, going 4-for-7 from the line.

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