November 26th 2016
Maryland 69 Kansas State 68
Two teams, both undefeated came into Barclays to battle in the championship game of the Brooklyn Hoops Barclays Classic. The Kansas State Wildcats at 5-0 and the Maryland Terrapins 6-0 looked to remain undefeated. Melo Trimble coming off a 31-point performance in his previous game for the Terps looked to lead his team to another victory to remain undefeated.
It was another boisterous pro Maryland crowd in attendance. Maryland came out with a passion and jumped out to a 11-6 lead with 14:55 in the half. However Kansas rallied and came back to tie the game with about 13:00 minutes left in the half. Justin Johnson (Kansas) had 9-points early as the Wildcats were on a 9-0 run after their early time out.
Melo Trimble was held scoreless through the first 10 minutes of the game. Wesley Iwundu was able to avoid early foul trouble and contributed early for the Wildcats.
Trimble finally got on the board with 5:58 left in the half after a great drive and a tough lay-up. With 6:13 to go he hit a contested 3-point shot, and completed the 4-point play after he was fouled. Kevin Heurter had 4-point early on as well for the Terps.
Wesley Iwundu was aggressive throughout the game he finished with 16-points and 11 rebounds. He had a nasty dunk over Ivan Bender near the end of the half. Maryland took a 35-29 lead to the half. Trimble and Huerter led the Terps while Iwundu made his presence felt in the first half for the wildcats with 11-points.
In the second half the Wildcats seemed to get all the 50/50 balls, as they were scrappy on defense and first to almost all the loose balls. Wesley Iwundu continued to shine, as he was very aggressive on offense. He had another monster one handed dunk as he drove down the lane with 16:15 left in the first half. DJ Johnson played like a man possessed, he was everywhere, He finished with a game high 26-points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. He had a great battle throughout the game against Michal Cekovsky of the Terps.
“Kamau Stokes had a great second half…..Melo Makes great plays for them.” – Coach Bruce Webber Wildcats
The Terps still had the lead with 13:38 left even without Trimble erupting. The Wildcats kept clawing and chipping away at the lead, every time they got to within two points Maryland would answer. The Terps brought the crowd to their feet after a mini 4-0 run with 10:40 to go after a Michal Cekovsky dunk on a fast break. The Kansas State fans began to get nervous after the Terps went up by 6 with 8:48 left who would answer for the Wildcats? Stokes came to the rescue as he hit a 3 to tie the game at 54 with 6:26 left in the game. This was a nail bitter throughout. Stokes then hit another jumper with 4:29 left to give Kansas State their first lead. Stokes had all his 11-points in the second half as he really shouldered the scoring load late for the Wildcats to keep them in the game.
“Our guys didn’t quit.. Melo just does what he does”.. Coach Mark Turgeon
The game came down to the final possession. With 6.6 left in the game and the Terps down by one Melo Trimble drove to the basket, scoring the clutch layup plus the foul to try to put his team up by two. However he missed the free throw to give the Wildcats a chance, they secured the rebound and elected not to call timeout and raced up the court, a desperation shot at the buzzer fell short and the Championship belonged to the Terps.
Melo finished with 18-points, 10 in the second half but none more clutch or more important than his last two. The Terps remain undefeated and are the 2016 Barclays Classic Champions.
Thank You for reading
Photo Credit : Vincent Carchietta