Maryland men’s basketball stifles No. 21 Indiana, 66-55

Maryland men's basketball stifles No. 21 Indiana, 66-55

Maryland men’s basketball has been nearly unstoppable at home this season, and a great opportunity for a rankings victory presented itself to it when it welcomed No. 21 Indiana to a lively XFINITY Center Tuesday night.

The Terps (15-7, 6-5 Big Ten) struggled on the offensive end of the court, shooting just 34% from the field and 22.7% from three, but put together a sublime defensive display to win 66- 55 over the Hoosiers (15-7, 6-5).

“I thought both teams played very good defense,” Maryland head coach Kevin Willard said. “I thought it was a really physical battle.”

Indiana had its five-game winning streak snapped and was held to about 19 points below the 73.9 points per game it was averaging in conference competition entering Tuesday. He turned the ball over 12 times and couldn’t capitalize on an 18-point, 20-rebound performance by junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis.

The Terps, who improved their home record to 12-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play, also had their problems, but they relied on graduate guard Jahmir Young. He started strong scoring the team’s first five points and never looked back, leading all scorers with 20 points; he has scored at least 20 in every Big Ten home game.

“They bring it up all the time,” Young said, referring to the local Maryland fans. “We are 6-0 at home [in the Big Ten] for a reason, and they’re a big part of that.”

Sophomore forward Julian Reese also had a strong performance for Maryland, posting a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, even as he often faced the super-athletic Jackson-Davis.

“I definitely tried to take on that challenge,” Reese said. “[Jackson-Davis] Being so hyped at this conference and in the country, I took it personally. I kind of tried to go to him and feel like I did what I had to do to get us the [win].”

Senior forward Donta Scott chipped in 19 points himself, despite shooting just 6-of-18 from the floor.

“His shot is going to come around, I know it,” Willard said of Scott. “He looked very good tonight, but I think he’s slowed down a bit again. I think he’s enjoying the physical aspect and once again defensively, he has the toughest job every night because what we do defensively is really up to him.”

After trading blows for the first few minutes, the Terps began to rely on 3-pointers to no avail. They started 1-for-10 from beyond the arc, and Indiana extended their lead to 22-15 just over halfway through the first half, forcing Willard to spend a timeout.

“I just reminded our guys that, you know, I asked them, ‘If somebody could take a shot, that would be really helpful,’” Willard said, recalling the timeout. “So I just joked around with them and loosened them up a little bit because we’d gotten it: I thought we started off good and then we missed some shots and got tight and I started to see a bad pattern and I thought they need to loosen up.”

Willard’s team quickly regained their footing after regrouping, playing through their excellent defense. The Terps forced seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes and committed none, attempting to disrupt Indiana’s attempts to force the ball to Jackson-Davis. Even though Jackson-Davis got away with it for the most part, grabbing eight points and 11 rebounds in the first half, Maryland’s pressure forced Indiana to make a lot of mistakes and challenged his team to beat him, which he didn’t. could.

The Terps turned their defensive success into offense, outscoring Indiana 22-7 in the final nine minutes of the first half to go into halftime 37-29.

All eight Hoosiers who saw the court scored, but one of Jackson-Davis’s right-handed regulars made little impact. Five-star freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino entered Tuesday averaging 15.4 points in Big Ten games but didn’t make a field goal before there were just three minutes and 45 seconds left in the game, limited to just one free throw in the first. He finished with a measly three points on 1-for-14 shooting.

“I just try to make him take two hard ones, I really just try to make it hard for him. You know he’s a great player, heavily recruited coming out [of high school] so trying to win the matchup myself and really trying to attack him was key,” Young said of the plan to stop Hood-Schifino.

The best guard on the court Tuesday was Young. He entered the game averaging 24 points per game in home Big Ten contests and continued to prove himself Maryland’s most potent offensive weapon, scoring three of the team’s five 3-point converts and displaying his elite finishing ability.

However, as the second half began, the Terps’ lead quickly diminished, as they, having become accustomed to quick second-half starts at home, turned the ball over three times in quick succession.

But Maryland weathered the storm and headed into the under-12 media timeout with a six-point lead after both teams shut up offensively, playing in favor of a physical Terps team.

“That’s what we really try to emphasize is just being physical and really pushing,” Scott said, noting that his team ended up making 29 free throws to Indiana’s 12. team and get hit and stuff like that, so we just tried to play through the bumps and let the refs make the decisions from there.”

Jackson-Davis, who started ice cold on the offensive end in the second half, began to get his way with the Terps in the late stages of the game, but was unable to overcome a double-digit deficit.

Even with their success at home this season, the biggest unchecked box on Maryland’s résumé remains the lack of a conference win. He might have his best chance to trade that Saturday when he travels to Minneapolis to take on last-place Minnesota.

Three things you should know

1. Rotation battle. The Terps not only forced Indiana to commit 12 turnovers, but more importantly, they were able to limit their own giveaways, only turning the ball over five times on Tuesday. Even though their shots weren’t falling consistently, they avoided allowing Indiana to run in transition and get easy baskets.

2. Maryland overcame poor shooting. The Terps didn’t have a classic offensive performance on Tuesday, but they were able to make up for it with a fantastic performance on the other end of the court. Jackson-Davis made his presence felt on the stat sheet, but still struggled to take control of the game, and a poor performance from Hood-Schifino made the Hoosiers’ climb to recover from their deficit even more difficult. pronounced.

3. Maryland swept their three-game homestand and is back over .500 in Big Ten play. The Terps needed keep serve at home to improve their standing in both the Big Ten and the postseason, and that’s what they did. Now riding a three-game winning streak for the first time in conference play this season (they hadn’t won back-to-back conference games until beating Nebraska on Saturday), Maryland needs to take their momentum on the road to rack up wins there.

#Maryland #mens #basketball #stifles #Indiana

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