Ayala, Wiggins lead Maryland past No. 6 Wisconsin 70-64

Full Screen
1 / 7

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Wisconsin's Micah Potter tries to get past Maryland's Galin Smith during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon wasn’t exactly pleased that the Big Ten schedule had his team on the road for a Christmas Day game followed by a trip to Wisconsin three later.

Now, he couldn’t be happier about it.

Eric Ayala scored 17 points, while Aaron Wiggins added 15 points and nine rebounds as Maryland beat No. 6 Wisconsin 70-64 on Monday night.

Coming in, the Terrapins were 0-2 in the conference, including a loss at Purdue on Friday, and their wins were against the likes of Mount St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s.

But Turgeon said he’s seen a difference in his team since losing 67-51 to Clemson on Dec. 9 and the late December road trip turned into a bonding experience that may become a building block for his team going forward.

“It was probably the best thing that happened to us,” Turgeon said. “We really grew in the last five days. A lot of meetings, a lot of being together.”

Maryland (6-3, 1-2 Big Ten) beat Wisconsin (8-2, 2-1) by refusing to let the Badgers have their bread-and-butter — the paint.

Maryland outscored Wisconsin 38-20 in the paint, limiting the Badgers’ post team of Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter to just 12 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Faced with a 3-2 zone in the second half, Wisconsin began to settle for 3-pointers.