After trailing by as many as 14 four times in the first half, and by 12 at halftime, Maryland missed its chance to win in regulation, then took over in overtime and held on for an 88-82 victory before a pro Maryland crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Melo Trimble tied a career high with 31 points, which included 21 in the second half and six crucial points early in the overtime period.
“I wasn’t thinking too much. I wasn’t trying to do too much. I just went out there and played basketball,” Trimble said. “You could tell, I was feeling pretty confident.”
Maryland got key contributions from three of their freshman players. Guard Anthony Cowan scored 18, forward Justin Jackson had 16 points and seven rebounds, and wing Kevin Huerter had his first double double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Guard ShawnDre’ Jones led Richmond (3-2) with 23 points.
Down 41-28 early in the second half, the Terps went on 14-2 run fueled by two long 3-pointers by Huerter to pull within 43-42 on a drive by Trimble. The Spiders extended the lead to five, but Maryland went on a 15-5 run to take a 57-52 lead on a put back by junior center Michal Cekovsky.
The Terps couldn’t keep the lead, as Richmond’s matchup zone defense slowed Maryland’s offense. The Terps contributed to an 13-3 Richmond run — three straight turnovers, two by Trimble, led to a three-point play by Spiders center T.J. Cline and a fast-break layup by Jones.
But Maryland forced overtime by scoring the next seven points for a 67-65 lead. Richmond reclaimed a one-point lead in the last minute of regulation on a 3-pointer by Cline. But Jackson made one of two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to tie the game at 70.
Maryland will play Kansas State in the finals of the Barclays Center Classic on Saturday night. Maryland will look to win it’s fourth straight early season tournament.