National Basketball Association
Northwestern 68, Maryland 61
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland
Officials: # Brian Dorsey, # Steve McJunkins, # Kelly Pfeifer
Attendance: 12340

Sophomore Nick Martinelli grinded inside for a career-high 27 points to spark short-handed Northwestern to a 68-61 win over Maryland on Wednesday in College Park, Md.

Brooks Barnhizer tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds and Boo Buie added 12 points as the Wildcats (20-8, 11-6 Big Ten) won for the fifth time in their past six games.

It was just the second win ever in College Park for Northwestern, which completed its first-ever regular season sweep of Maryland.

The win came despite the absence of third-leading scorer Ryan Langborg (12.5 points per game), who was sidelined by an ankle injury, furthering the manpower issues for the Wildcats. Earlier this month, they lost Ty Berry (11.6 ppg) to a season-ending meniscus tear.

Northwestern made 46.3 percent of its shots from the floor but just 2 of 13 (15.4 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. The Wildcats thrived at the free-throw line, where they made 28 of 31 tries (90.3 percent), led by Barnhizer, who made all 10 of his attempts, and Martinelli, who hit 9 of 10.

Jahmir Young had 24 points and six assists to lead Maryland (15-14, 7-11) which has lost six of its past eight games, watching its hopes for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth disappear.

The Terrapins made just 38.9 percent of their shots, including 2 of 22 (9.1 percent) from long distance.

DeShawn Harris-Smith had 14 points, and Julian Reese added 12 points and five rebounds while battling foul trouble.

In an ugly first half, Maryland made 1 of 14 attempts from 3-point range and made just two field goals in a 14-minute spell.

After Harris-Smith sank a layup to put the Terrapins in front 14-13, Martinelli answered with six straight free throws to put the Wildcats in the lead for good.

Young answered in kind as he made eight straight foul shots over the final 4:34 of the half. Barnhizer scored four quick points in the last minute to give Northwestern a 29-24 lead at the break.

Midway through the second half, Maryland whittled the deficit to 44-42 on two free throws by Young.

However, Northwestern walk-on Blake Smith made a putback three-point play to trigger a 7-0 run as the Wildcats regained control.

Down the stretch, Matt Nicholson surprised the Terrapins with a driving two-handed slam. Buie added a 3-pointer with 4:49 left that gave the Wildcats a 58-49 lead.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Northwestern   Maryland
Nick Martinelli 27 Scoring Jahmir Young 24
Boo Buie 5 Assists Jahmir Young 6
Brooks Barnhizer 10 Rebounds Caelum Swanton-Rodger 6
Brooks Barnhizer 10 Free Throws Made Jahmir Young 11
Nick Martinelli 1 Steals Jahmir Young 1
N/A Blocks Julian Reese 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Northwestern 68 46.3 2-13 28-31 8 31 0 2 10
Maryland 61 38.9 2-22 17-24 9 30 2 1 7