COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - As the clock ticked toward zero, Maryland freshman Melo Trimble had one sensational play left to make in a remarkable first half.
Dribbling the ball to the top of the key, Trimble performed a crossover dribble so impressive that his defender, Lourawls Nairn Jr., lost his balance. Trimble then buried the three-point shot as the buzzer sounded, bringing an even higher level of volume from the sellout crowd of 17,950.
With Trimble leading the way, No. 14 Maryland breezed past Michigan State 75-59 Saturday to sweep the season series and gain sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Trimble scored 21 of his 24 points in the first half, which ended with the Terrapins ahead 40-26. The margin swelled to 20 with 10 minutes left.
"Great win," head coach Mark Turgeon said. "That's what I've been waiting for. I don't think we've played our best basketball recently, and our guys stepped up and really played well."
In the first game between the teams, Maryland escaped with a double-overtime victory on Dec. 30. This one was all but over after Trimble juked Nairn off his feet and drained the shot.
It was highlight reel stuff, except perhaps for those who see the 6-foot-3 point guard perform on a daily basis.
"I've seen Melo do that many times, and it doesn't shock me," Turgeon said.
Trimble had help. Jake Layman had 23 points and 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season and second in a row. But credit this victory to Trimble, who made seven of 11 shots in the first half, including five-for-seven from beyond the arc.
"I have to say he's the straw that stirs the drink," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "He gets other people involved. Once in a while, he's almost casual out there. He doesn't really look to do much. He just gets people involved. He's as good as I've seen in a while."
Maryland (17-2, 5-1) sank 11 three-pointers, including a career-high six from Trimble, and limited the Spartans (12-6, 3-2) to 3-for-17 shooting from beyond the arc. Another factor: Maryland went 20-for-22 at the foul line and Michigan State was 4-for-13.
Playing its first season in the Big Ten, Maryland moved a half-game ahead of idle Wisconsin for the top spot and handed Michigan State its most-lopsided defeat of the season.
Branden Dawson had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans and Matt Costello scored 12. Michigan State had won three straight since losing to Maryland.
The Terrapins didn't need any offense from Dez Wells, who came in averaging 14.1 points but didn't score until sinking a layup with 14:39 left.
The basket put the Terps up 50-37, and Wells followed with a three that boosted the margin to 16 and effectively ended any shot the Spartans had of making a comeback.
Maryland returns to action on Thursday when it plays at Indiana at 9 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.