Instant Reaction: Maryland 66, #21 Indiana 55

Maryland basketball (15-7, 6-5 Big Ten) improved to 6-0 at home in Big Ten play after beating the No. 21 Indiana Hoosiers 66-55, earning their first three-game winning streak at home in two years.

Tuesday’s win marks the third win of the season over a team currently ranked inside the AP top 25 as Maryland clings to the right side of the bubble. Breaking down our instant reactions as the Terps get back over .500 in conference play:

Maryland basketball brings the energy with a 7-0 run

Jahmir Young got Maryland going offensively after scoring seven of the first nine points in the game as the two teams traded baskets early. Maryland was able to feed off its electric crowd, including a packed student section, early but that didn’t mean the frontcourt was able to limit Trayce Jackson-Davis as he quickly racked up six rebounds and four points in the opening minutes. While Indiana has Jackson-Davis, the Terps have Julian Reese who has played very well against some of the best big men in the Big Ten this season. He had an impressive 11-rebound and 10-point double-double. He made the plays he needed to when the moment called for it and held his own against Jackson-Davis.

Coming into this game, we knew that the Hoosiers were excellent at making the extra pass to get good shots. Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson got good looks off of dribble penetration and took advantage of their opportunities. Indiana found themselves in a rhythm offensively as they attacked the Terps’ defense early and knocked down their shots. Of course, Jackson-Davis did what he does best, be physical in the post and pull down rebounds. At the 5:24 mark, the Terps were down 24-23 and went on a 9-0 run started by a Young three-pointer and complimented by Donta Scott and Ian Martinez knocking down their shots and free throws.

Transition defense is a very important part of the game when it comes to building and keeping momentum. In that respect, the Hoosiers struggled to match up and recover defensively, and the Terps capitalized on it. They scored eight points off of turnovers.

The Terps’ had superb ball control

But what Maryland did well was take care of the basketball and for the first time this season, Maryland ended the first half without a single turnover. It’s a big reason why Maryland was able to take a 37-29 lead into the locker room despite shooting under 28% from the floor and just 4-of-15 from deep. While Willard has routinely touched on Maryland’s ball control through conference play, zero turnovers in the first half for the Terps was huge as it allowed the offense to play fast, free, and aggressively. On the defensive end, it translated to making Indiana uncomfortable with the press and contesting shots for the Hoosiers that would go down usually.

Jalen Hood-Schifino was held scoreless in the first half after having an amazing game against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Hoosiers came roaring back to start the second half

After having such great success to get the lead back and maintain it, neither team looked in rhythm to open the second half as Maryland suffered its first turnover just seconds in after Julian Reese was stripped at the rim. Indiana would take advantage as Jackson-Davis led the way to cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to 39-37.

Inside, Maryland had little to no answer on the board for Jackson-Davis after racking up another nine rebounds to finish with 20–half of Indiana’s rebounds. Still, the Terps’ rotation defense in the post helped limit Jackson-Davis’ efficiency inside as the Terps were able to counter in the paint on the other end. After the Hoosiers cut the lead to two, Maryland’s quick 5-0 run gave them the necessary breathing room as the lead stayed at least five points the rest of the way.

Maryland also took advantage at the charity stripe, knocking down 12-of-14 attempts, but it would be Donta Scott who helped close the game down the stretch.

After cutting the lead to 54-49 with just over five minutes left, Scott would score eight of Maryland’s 12 points the rest of the way and he did so inside and out. The senior forward took advantage of Race Thompson one-on-one at the top of the key, shaking him on a half-spin before following up his own miss with a rebound before flushing the floater home, sending Xfinity into an eruption.

Maryland’s defense fed off the energy and allowed just three field goals over the final 3:44 to close out the win, moving to 11-1 at home.

They’ll be back on the road again Saturday to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 9 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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