COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back in posting a convincing 73-55 victory over Michigan State on Saturday afternoon at Xfinity Center and before a national-television audience on CBS. The Terps won their fifth game in a row and further solidified their charge for an NCAA Tournament berth in March, improving to 15-10 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference.
Eric Ayala led Maryland with 22 points and was a perfect 13-of-13 from the foul line. Aaron Wiggins tallied 13, including an exclamation 360-reserve dunk in the final minute. Darryl Morsell added 11 and Hakim Hart netted 10 including a dagger 3-pointer midway through the second half that thwarted a Spartan run.
The Terps were a sparkling 23-of-24 from the free-throw line led by Ayala, posting a 95.8 percent mark, good for fourth-best in program history. Maryland was also efficient from the floor, making 49 percent overall and 8-of-16 from 3-point land with six different players converting at least one triple.
Ayala’s performance equaled Len Bias’ 13-of-13 from the line in 1986, just behind the school record for most free-throw makes without a miss in school history as Jerry Greenspan set the mark in 1960, making all 14 of his attempts.
The Terps’ defense limited Michigan State to 33 percent from the floor overall and just 29 percent from the floor with Morsell, a leader for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year leading the suffocating unit.
Maryland led wire-to-wire, marking the first time in the series history that the Terps never trailed in 17 career match-ups.
Joshua Langford led Michigan State (13-10, 7-10) with 12 points. The Spartans were coming off back-to-back wins over Top-5 opponents in Illinois and Ohio State.
Maryland return to action on Wednesday night at Northwestern in a 9 p.m., tip on Big Ten Network.