Maryland prevails over Indiana, 80-68
With a little more than four minutes remaining in the first half Tuesday night, Maryland held possession, down by seven. Senior guard Greivis Vasquez dribbled the ball toward the top of the key and looked toward the opposite end of the court at Coach Gary Williams, who was signaling in the play call from the Terrapins' bench.
Vasquez looked back down to find that the ball had bounced off his foot and was rolling toward the sideline. He corralled it just before it went out of bounds and ended up draining a three-pointer to pull Maryland to within four.
Much like that sequence, Maryland pulled out a victory over Indiana only after nearly losing control and watching things fall apart. The Terrapins' play was disjointed for much of the first half, but they recovered thanks to a familiar defensive adjustment and a little patience on offense.
"In the first half, we would kind of make one pass and then try to go one-on-one or try and get to the basket," senior guard Eric Hayes said. "He told us at halftime that if we were going to win the game we had to be patient on offense and move the ball and if we run a couple cutters, we’ll get open. That’s what we did in the second half."
1) Zone defense. Indiana does not possess what you would call a proficient offense, and yet, the Hoosiers were able to break Maryland's press with relative easy and found ways to break down Maryland's man-to-man defense in the first half. But late in the opening period, the Terrapins switched to a 3-2 zone defense, which upset the Hoosiers' rhythm for the rest of the night.
"It’s always nice to have if you’re struggling covering guys man-to-man," Hayes said. "We can go zone like we did today and slow them down. It was just one of those things that was great for us last year and we’re trying to get it better this year because it hadn’t really worked that great at the beginning of this year. But today it worked great for us."
2) Landon Milbourne. The bad news was that Milbourne's night once again was disrupted by foul trouble. The good news was that the senior forward seemed better equipped to handle such a circumstance against Indiana than he was last week in the Maui Invitational. Rather than remain disengaged after earning two quick fouls, Milbourne stuck with it. He finished with 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting. He also tallied seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
3) Sean Mosley. Could have put Greivis Vasquez here. His 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds certainly were valuable to the Terrapins. But he shot 4 for 14 from the field. Mosley, on the other hand, scored (13 points) and shot the ball well (5 for 9 from the field). Mosley also tallied nine rebounds, which were crucial considering Maryland struggled on the boards once again.
1) First 15 minutes. They weren't pretty. For a squad that had to call a team meeting Sunday to address focus and intensity issues, the start to tonight's game nearly looked like a step back. There were a slew of missed close shots, there were sloppy defensive rotations and there was foul trouble. If that sounds familiar, it was the formula for Maryland's two losses last week in Maui. It didn't help that the Terrapins were even more short-handed than usual Tuesday night. Junior guard Cliff Tucker did not play due to what Gary Williams called a "coach's decision."
2) Turnovers. Again, this was primarily an issue in the first half alone. The Terrapins commited 12 of their 18 turnovers before the intermission, a mark that helps explain why Indiana was able to keep up with -- and in fact, lead -- Maryland more than midway through, even though the Hoosiers were not shooting well at all from the field. For a squad that prides itself on discipline, 18 turnovers is a bit much. But in continuing with Maryland's trend of transforming itself at halftime, the Terrapins tallied just six turnovers in the second half.
3) Rebounding. The battle of the boards was won by Indiana, 43-41. Sure, that's a slight margin. But this was a team that Maryland should have been able to handle in the rebounding department. The Terrapins are not the tallest or the biggest bunch, but neither is Indiana. The Hoosiers entered the night with a negative rebounding margin. Freshman forward Jordan Williams pulled down 11 boards, a commendable effort to be sure. But fellow freshman forward James Padgett had just three rebounds. Sophomore forward Jin Soo Choi had two. Maryland has one game left until junior forward Dino Gregory returns from suspension. Judging by the rebounding results of the past few weeks, his services will be much appreciated.
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