With 2:21 seconds remaining, the Georgetown Hoyas looked as if they were going to cruise to their second win of the young season against the rival Maryland Terrapins, deliver a payback of sorts for last season’s tough defeat and send the fans from College Park who invaded the Verizon Center home with a staggering defeat.
Yet with a total brain-fart/implosion from the young Hoyas and clutch efforts by Maryland junior guard Melo Trimble and others, the Terps ended the game with a 17-7 run to pull out an improbable 76-75 win.
This game seemed to have it all – big jumpers, LOTS of fouls, mental gaffes – that you could ask for in an early season match-up. When the buzzer sounded after Terps freshman Kevin Huerter blocked a driving layup attempt by Georgetown freshman Jagan Mosely just before the final buzzer, the Maryland contingent rushed the court in excitement that rivaled a huge conference win. This win meant something to those kids.
— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) November 16, 2016
“We just kept fighting,” said Maryland guard Melo Trimble, who capped a 22-point performance by sinking two free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining. Trimble finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting, and freshman forward Justin Jackson added 17 points and seven rebounds in the exhilarating comeback.
The Hoyas were lead by junior forward LJ Peak, who contributed 21 points, including 19 in the second half and junior forward Isaac Copeland added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
“We have to grow,” Georgetown Coach John Thompson III said. “We have to get better. We have to learn from our mistakes. There were just too many mental errors down at the end. I can rattle off too many to mention. We put them in a position to win that game.”
Even though there was an early start and a smaller-than-expected crowd especially early on, this game was far too exciting to end this series – a series we here in DC have been waiting to happen for years. In the second leg of a home-and-home series as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, this was just the fifth meeting since 1980 between the schools separated by roughly 20 miles.
As aesthetically unpleasing this game was for most of it, you could chalk that up to nerves/youth etc, the excitement of these “rivals” finally playing at Verizon Center was something I personally have longed for. Let’s hope that the powers that be find a reasonable solution to continue a series that could revive a city that needs a renewed jolt of basketball energy.