Xfinity Center had grown quiet. Maryland men’s basketball’s offense had dried up to start the second half and the sellout crowd that roared with every Terp make had few to cheer about since the break.

But a timeout from coach Kevin Willard reignited the Terps, who never looked back during a 29-4 Maryland run that gave its fans plenty to celebrate. Nearly every attempt from the Terps fell through the nylon while nearly every Boilermaker shot fell harmlessly into the hands of Maryland defenders after bouncing off the rim.

Those fans’ voices thundered even louder as they rushed onto the court after the final buzzer as Maryland men’s basketball upset No. 3 Purdue at Xfinity Center Thursday, 68-54.

Jahmir Young runs down the clock during Maryland men’s basketball’s 68-54 win over Purdue on Feb. 16, 2022. (Cam Andrews/The Diamondback)

“It was definitely like a dream come true, something that you work for all summer,” Jahmir Young said.

The Terps (18-8, 9-6 Big Ten) broke their streak of 11-straight losses against top-five ranked opponents, with their most recent win coming against No. 3 Iowa in January 2016. Willard’s teams had played top-ten teams like Purdue and Tennessee close earlier in the season, but broke through to notch the first marquee win under Maryland’s new head coach.

Willard’s squad were the focus as the final buzzer sounded, but national player of the year candidate Zach Edey drew the attention of the Maryland defense from tip-off.

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Young intercepted an Edey pass on the first possession of the game and Julian Reese forced a held ball with Purdue’s 7-foot-4 center in the second as the Terps forced two turnovers in the opening minute of the game.

The Terps continued to throw double teams at Edey and hounded him down low in an attempt to disrupt Purdue’s offense, limiting easy scores for the center. The extra attention on Edey opened up offensive opportunities for Purdue guard Braden Smith.

Smith, a freshman, scored all 10 of his first-half points from mid-range jumpers and layups. But his production alongside Edey’s presence inside was the only consistent offense the Boilermakers (23-4, 12-4 Big Ten) could muster in the opening half as the pair accounted for 18 of Purdue’s 28 points through 20 minutes.

“We were gonna live with Braden Smith,” Willard said. “You gotta kind of pick your poison so I thought the easier [option was] if Braden has the ball in his hands more. So you’re gonna be ready to give up some things and that was kind of our game plan.”

Maryland’s stifling defense gave it opportunities to take the lead against Purdue. It did so just over seven minutes into the game after Hakim Hart drove and got a layup to fall through contact. He made the ensuing free throw on the and-one opportunity to put the Terps up 9-8.

That shot was the only field goal to fall in the opening 20 minutes for Hart, a common theme among his Terp teammates. No Maryland player scored more than two field goals in the first half.

[Hakim Hart’s 23 points helps Maryland men’s basketball fend off Penn State, 74-68]

Maryland relied on free throws for points, with Young scoring five of the Terps’ eight first-half attempts. The charity stripe and Maryland’s defense helped it enter halftime down by just three.

The Terps shot just 30.8 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three in the opening 20 minutes, but they eventually turned it around after continuing their slow start into the second half.

Edey and Smith continued to find a way through Maryland’s defense after the break. The duo combined for four buckets and forced Willard to call a timeout as the Boilermakers grew their lead to eight.

The Terps didn’t allow a point from Purdue for over two minutes after Willard’s timeout and used a Mason Gillis technical foul, issued after he argued with a referee, to spark their own run.

Young sank both free throws and Reese scored a layup to notch four points on the possession. A Donald Carey fast break layup and another Reese bucket reclaimed the lead for the Terps and capped off a 10-0 run.

Maryland continued to find its offensive rhythm on the inside. The Terps finished the second half shooting a much-improved 63 percent from the field due to their aggressive approach while the Boilermakers shot just 39.1 percent.

“[Edey] did a really good job … clogging everything up [in the first half],” Willard said. “In the second half we just kind of put him on the baseline so he couldn’t be such a factor.”

Hart added two threes as the lead suddenly became double digits and stretched as large as 18 with about six minutes remaining after another triple from Young. Donta Scott added the Terps’ fourth make from deep with a banked three-pointer. His shot iced Maryland’s biggest upset in over seven years.

“Donta had that one off the backboard,” Reese said, “that’s really when I knew it was over.”

In the ensuing court-storming celebration, one student climbed atop the rim of the basket, standing tall just as the Terps did after slaying a Big Ten giant.

A fan climbs the basket after Maryland men’s basketball’s 68-54 win over Purdue on Feb. 16, 2022. (Cam Andrews/The Diamondback)