By Jack Rothenberg
With both teams struggling to find the basket, the Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Maryland Terrapins 63-55 Monday night in Bloomington. Indiana sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 22 points mainly by dominating the paint in the second half. Senior forward Galin Smith drew the assignment for most of the contest and did a commendable job, but fouled out with five minutes to play, and junior forward Jairus Hamilton didn’t stand a chance versus Jackson-Davis. Maryland went scoreless for six
straight minutes after the under eight timeout in the second half, which left them barely any time to attempt to climb back and was ultimately the difference.
Maryland’s first half defensive effort was one of their best of the season. Maryland played one of their best defensive halves of the season in the first half the Hoosiers. The Terps held Indiana to 21 points on 30% from the floor and 0-9 from long range.
Maryland raced out to a 16-6 lead before the Hoosiers scraped back to even the score at 18. The Terps turned up the defense and held IU scoreless for nearly five minutes. However, unlike Indiana which stretched a two point lead to 10 in the second half, Maryland failed to capitalize because of
a poor shooting on their end as well. While the Terps had a 27-21 lead at halftime, they shot only 38%, and likely went into the locker room feeling as if their advantage should have been a double digit one.
A three point shot by Aaron Wiggins with about 15 minutes to play gave the Terps a 37-27 advantage equaling their largest lead of the night. However, the Hoosiers were finally able to get the lid off the basket thanks to seven offensive rebounds in the second half given up by the Terps. That’s where Jackson-Davis (22 points and 15 rebounds) made his money and became the catalyst for the Indiana scoring barrage. With under 10 minutes to go, a poor bounce pass from new-comer freshman guard James Graham III led to a break-away slam for Jackson-Davis and created a lot of momentum for the Hoosiers as they took the lead 45-43.
Once Maryland coughed up the lead, they seemingly couldn’t find offense anywhere and only scored 12 more points the rest of the game. “We just weren’t tough enough to box out, we weren’t physical enough down low in the second half. I think we did a really good job in the first half keeping them off the boards and limiting their second chance points,” junior guard Aaron Wiggins said.
An injury late in the first half against Michigan will force senior guard Daryll Morsell to be out 1-2 weeks with a fractured cheek bone. Sophomore guard Hakim Hart filled his starting role against the Hoosiers, but Maryland surely missed Morsell on the defensive end and as an emotional leader and will likely continue to do so. As a result of the Terps being short-handed, Graham III, who just recently joined the team, saw his first career minutes. Graham only played four minutes, but displayed his athleticism by skying over two Indiana players to snatch a rebound in the first half. “He’s a willing learner, he can make a shot, and he’s worked really hard since he’s been here…He’s going to be good for us,” head coach Mark Turgeon said.
Wiggins was the only Terrapin to provide consistency on the offensive side of the ball. One of two Terps to score in double figures, Wiggins had a season-high 22 points along with 10 rebounds. Surprisingly, sophomore forward Donta Scott was only able to muster seven points, just his second game this season that he didn’t score in double figures. At the end of the day, both teams had difficulty scoring at different points in the game, although Indiana bounced back from their first half struggles and Maryland wasn’t able to do the same late in the second half. The Terps now return home on Jan. 7 for a date with the No. 5 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, who are led by national player of the year candidate Luka Garza.
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