It took no time at all for Maryland to assert their dominance Tuesday night in College Park as they ran out to a 17 point lead early in the first half on their way to an 84-59 win over Illinois.
As usual it was Melo Trimble who led the way for the Terps, scoring a team-high 20 points on 7-10 shooting. But he received a bevy of help along the way as junior guard Jaylen Brantley played possibly his best game of the season off the bench, scoring 13 points while making some highly-contested shots.
Freshmen Anthony Cowan and Justin Jackson both scored 12 points on a combined 10-20 shooting as Maryland shot 56 percent from the floor. Cowan also added a game-high six assists as Maryland had nearly double the assists of the Illini.
Illinois couldn’t get things going as they made just two of their first twelve shot attempts. Senior guard Tracy Abrams, who entered the game scoring 12 points per game and knocking down 60 percent of his shots from behind the arc, was held to just two points on 1-10 shooting and 0-6 from deep. His fellow senior Malcolm Hill was the only spark for the Illini as he scored a game-high 21 points. The rest of the Illini scored just 38 points on 30 percent shooting.
Maryland has won all three of its Big Ten conference openers and will host Nebraska on New Years Day. Illinois loses its conference opener for third consecutive season.