KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Melo Trimble had 31 points, Dez Wells scored all but two of his 14 points in the second half and Maryland beat Arizona State 78-73 on Monday night in the semifinals of the CBE Classic.
Jake Layman added 12 points for the Terrapins (4-0), who were solid from the foul line (16 of 18) and dominated the boards, advancing to face the Iowa State-Alabama winner in Tuesday’s title game.
Jon Gilling hit seven 3-pointers and had 21 points for the Sun Devils (3-1). Bo Barnes had five 3-pointers and 17 points, and Gerry Blakes and Eric Jacobsen finished with 14 points apiece.
Arizona State was leading 73-71 with 1:33 to go when Trimble, the Terrapins’ dynamic freshman guard, got to the foul line. He made both attempts to forge a tie.
Shaquille McKissic missed at the other end for Arizona State, and Wells got to the basket at the other end to give Maryland a 75-73 lead with 40 seconds left.
After calling a timeout, the Sun Devils got the ball to freshman guard Kodi Justice, who had missed his first three shots. He clanked a midrange jumper off the iron, the Terps pulled down the rebound, and Trimble made two more free throws with 17.9 seconds left to help seal it.
It was Terps’ first victory in the CBE Classic after a pair of losses in the 2007 tournament, and a pleasant return to Kansas City for coach Mark Turgeon, who grew up in nearby Topeka.
The Sun Devils scored the game’s first seven points, but nobody led by more than that the rest of the way. By the time halftime rolled around, the teams were engaged in a back-and-forth affair that was at times exceptional, at times exceptionally sloppy.
Trimble’s hot hand began to cool off, and Arizona State opened a 61-57 lead on Gilling’s 3-pointer with just over 10 minutes to go. But the Terps answered right back, seizing a 66-62 lead on back-to-back baskets by Wells, who was 1 for 7 from the field in the first half.
Arizona State, which relied all game on the 3-pointer, did so again in the closing minutes, when Barnes hit two more to give the Sun Devils a 71-69 lead with 2:15 left.
Wells answered at the other end with a putback off his own miss to tie the game.
It remained a nip-and-tuck matchup until the final minute, when Trimble and Wells took the outcome into their own hands. They scored six straight points to help seal the win.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils finished 14 of 27 from beyond the 3-point arc. They were out-rebounded 34-24, despite having a size advantage in the paint.
Maryland: Trimble did most of his damage slashing to the basket. He was 13 of 14 from the foul line.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils face the loser of Iowa State-Alabama in the third-place game.
Maryland: The Terps face the winner of Iowa State-Alabama in the title game
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