Maryland’s second-half scoring struggles allow Indiana to advance to tournament semifinals with 70-60 win

In the final game of Friday’s quarterfinals in the Big Ten tournament, a strong second-half effort lifted No. 3 Indiana over No. 6 Maryland, 70-60.

Indiana dominated the interior in the second half, outscoring the Terps 36-18 in the paint to leap ahead and advance to the semifinals to face Penn State. Trayce Jackson-Davis was dominant, scoring 24 points, along with nine rebounds and seven assists to lead the Hoosiers.

“You’ve got to give Trayce a lot of credit,” Maryland head coach Kevin Willard said. “I thought he was phenomenal and just nonstop, … for playing 38 minutes, he’s an elite player. I’m looking forward to watching him in the NBA next year.”

The Hoosiers scored on their first five possessions from the field, as the they fed off the obvious pro-Indiana crowd. The Hoosiers began the game shooting over 60% from the field to jump out to an early 11-5 lead.

Jackson-Davis – Indiana’s All-Big Ten first team selection – established himself early, as the senior connected on his first two shots from the field, which included an emphatic alley-oop dunk in transition.

After this stretch, the Hoosiers cooled off from the field and missed five straight shots which allowed Maryland to dig itself out of an early hole to take a seven-point lead.

The Terps capitalized on the five-minute Indiana scoring drought, aided by hot three-point shooting and an inspired defensive effort. Don Carey and Hakim Hart each knocked down a pair of first-half three-pointers to help build Maryland’s lead.

Sophomore big-man Julian Reese was forced to sit with two early fouls, which allowed Indiana to creep back into the game with its paint production. Despite Reese’s foul trouble and Maryland shooting just 40% from the field, the Terps took a 34-32 lead into the break.

Out of halftime, Maryland used a 7-0 run to give itself a chance to push its lead to near double-digits, but Jahmir Young failed to convert on a fast-break opportunity, which Indiana utilized, connecting on four straight field goals to knot the game at 43-43 with just over 13 minutes remaining.

After that stretch, Maryland went cold, shooting only 25% from the field as Indiana used a 15-0 run to grab the lead and never relent.

Despite his team’s scoring struggles, Willard believed they fought hard against one of the conference’s premier teams.

“I thought Jahmir had a great attack, missed a layup and they go down and hit a three,” Willard said. “I love the fact that we got down 10 and cut it back to six, … I think we played pretty darn good.”

Jalen Hood-Schifino – who scored only three points on 1-14 shooting in the team’s first matchup – finished with 19 points and six rebounds on Friday night.

“I thought he did a great job of really attacking and getting downhill,” Willard said. “I just thought he did a great job of pushing the pace, … he made some tough shots, … I thought [him in] transition made the biggest difference.”

Young – who shot 3-15 from the field – never seemed to find his footing in this matchup, as Maryland struggled to score alongside him. This marked back-to-back games where Young had a poor shooting performance from the field, as the senior went 6-28 from the field in his first two conference tournament games.

“We have asked him to do a lot,” Willard said of Young. “I think one of Indiana’s biggest strengths is their size across their whole lineup, … I thought they did a really good job of just being physical with us, … having to play a tough game last night, I thought Jahmir did the best he can against their size.”

Carey knocked down a three with one second remaining on the shot clock, which trimmed Indiana’s lead to eight with nine minutes to go, but the Terps only connected on four field goals in the remainder of regulation as Indiana put the game out of reach.

“They got a lot of transition buckets,” Carey said. “I think that’s where they really hurt us tonight, in transition, … we struggled to get it going offensively in the second half.”

Maryland’s next game will be in the NCAA Tournament, where the Terps will likely land in the 7-10 seed range with a game on either Thursday or Friday. Selection Sunday will determine Maryland’s tournament fate at the conclusion of the Big Ten tournament championship game.