COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Jahmir Young scored 20 points, and Maryland used a dominant stretch in the middle of the second half Thursday night to rally past No. 3 Purdue 68-54 and deal the Boilermakers their second consecutive loss.
The Terrapins (18-8, 9-6 Big Ten) trailed 37-29 before erupting on a 29-4 burst to take control.
Hakim Hart added 13 points for Maryland, which defeated a top-three team for the first time since topping then-No. 3 Iowa 74-68 on Jan. 28, 2016. Maryland improved to 14-1 at home this season.
Students stormed the court — and one even climbed onto the basket — after Maryland earned its fourth victory of the season over a ranked team. Exactly 10 years earlier, fans rushed onto the same court after Maryland beat then-No. 2 Dukes.
“I knew we were going to win,” Maryland coach Kevin Willard said. “This was not a surprise to me. This is an unbelievable program. It’s one of the best programs in the country. I thought it was important for the fan base and it was important for the students to just understand what this program is really all about.”
Zach Edey and Braden Smith both scored 18 points for Purdue (23-4, 12-4), which has lost three of four — all on the road. The Boilermakers were outrebounded 35-23 by the smaller Terps. It was their largest deficit on the glass all season and only the third time they were beaten on the boards.
“We have to be tougher,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “You have to come in here and win the possession battle. You have to have more rebounds and fewer turnovers. Now you can start right there and work towards something. We didn’t do that. When you get on the road and you have fewer possessions and now you don’t shoot well, oh that’s going to be a long night versus a quality team.”
The Boilermakers’ recent struggles have all come against good teams, but they haven’t been as sharp as they were during their 22-1 start. There’s still time to sort things out before the postseason, and Purdue should get a boost from playing three of its final four regular-season games at home.
In Thursday’s game, Purdue seemed headed for a bounce-back from Sunday’s 64-58 loss at Northwestern when it took an eight-point lead in the second half. But after a basket by Young, Purdue forward Mason Gillis was called for a foul and then was assessed a technical foul for arguing with official Doug Sirmons.
That effectively ignited a 10-0 spurt that prompted Painter to call timeout. He tried to stem the run again when Hart hit a 3 to make it 50-41 — a 21-4 spree at that point.
Maryland kept surging after the timeout, and by the time Hart made another 3 with 7:15 remaining, the Terps were up 58-41 and Purdue faced its largest deficit of the season.
“It just seemed like they were living about eight feet from the rim right in the middle, and they were just breaking us down off the dribble,” Painter said.
The Terps eventually pushed the advantage to 18 and never saw their lead cut to single digits the rest of the night against a team that was ranked No. 1 earlier this month.
“Like coach said in the locker room, ‘Just think of where you were last year,”’ said forward Julian Reese, who had 10 points and nine rebounds. “At this time last year, we had a bad record — I I’m not exactly sure what it was — and [now] it’s [18-8] and we just beat a top-five team in the country. It’s definitely a confidence booster, but we have to keep working.”
Maryland improved to 8-0 in conference home games under Willard, who has reenergized the program in his first season since arriving from Seton Hall. Maryland avenged an earlier loss for the third time this season; the Terps also split with Michigan and Wisconsin.
Purdue fell from No. 1 to No. 3 after its loss at Northwestern on Sunday, and the Boilermakers seem likely to slip at least a few more spots next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.