At halftime of the Maryland men’s basketball team’s game at Northwestern on Wednesday, coach Mark Turgeon told the Big Ten Network sideline reporter his star player was “pissed off.”
Guard Melo Trimble didn’t appreciate critics harping on his missed shots, though he entered the contest shooting 30.8 percent (16-for-52) in the previous five games.
So, Trimble assembled two of his best scoring outings since arriving in College Park. He exploded for a career-high 32 points in Maryland’s 74-64 win over Northwestern and dropped 27 points in a loss Sunday at then-No. 11 Wisconsin, two performances the Big Ten deemed worthy of Player of the Week recognition on Monday.
He made 61.7 percent of his attempts (21-for-34) during the stretch.
Trimble has now earned this honor twice this season and four times in his career.
Turgeon insisted Trimble’s shooting struggles weren’t mechanical during his press conference last Tuesday. The junior was taking quality shots, the sixth-year coach said, and was fresher now than he was when he endured a slump at this point last year. A day after Turgeon’s comments, Trimble’s attempts that had recently clanged off the rim instead swished through the net.
With Trimble’s 13 first-half points on 5-of-7 shooting, the Terps surged into halftime with a 32-22 lead in Evanston, Illinois. The Upper Marlboro native then added eight points before the second period’s first media timeout and drilled his second 3-pointer of the half moments later to give Maryland a 17-point advantage.
The two-time All-Big Ten performer finished 12 of 17 from the field, grabbed four rebounds and tallied three assists in 32 minutes.
Sunday, Trimble’s early efforts propelled the Terps to a six-point halftime lead over the Badgers with a first-place tie in the Big Ten standings on the line. Despite committing four turnovers, the 6-foot-3 slasher turned in 15 opening-frame points, making 5 of 8 attempts. Guard Kevin Huerter was the Terps’ next highest scorer with six points.
As Trimble’s production waned in the beginning of the second half, so did Maryland’s lead. By the time Trimble converted his first basket of the period — a 3-pointer at the 10:47 mark — the Terps still trailed by five. They never regained the lead in the 71-60 defeat.