No. 17 Maryland Edges Indiana, 77-76

College Sports
Indiana University Basketball IU Hoosiers_250547

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Perspective is hard when opportunity is lost, when comeback victory vanishes in a basketball blink and gut-check disappointment hovers like a grey cloud.

Here was Indiana sophomore guard Rob Phinisee, somber words for a somber mood following Sunday’s 77-76 loss to No. 17 Maryland that muted an energized Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall crowd.

“It was lack of communication down the stretch,” Phinisee said. “We turned the ball over. They got that easy bucket (from forward Jalen Smith). We have to settle down on defense and lock up.”

In the last minute, IU (15-5 overall, 5-4 in the Big Ten) had one turnover and two missed shots. Maryland (16-4, 6-3) had three-point and two-point baskets.

“They hit shots when they needed to,” Phinisee said. “We didn’t get stops when we needed to down the stretch.”

A six-point lead with 68 seconds wasn’t enough. IU went from apparent blow-out loss (it trailed by 14 points in the first half) to apparent blow-out win (it led by eight late in the game) to blown victory.

“It’s a lesson,” guard Devonte Green said, “like every other loss. We were down. We fought our way back. We got the lead, and lost it. It shows the game can turn at any point.”

As a result, there would be no celebratory follow-up to Thursday’s win over No. 11 Michigan State, no chance to stay within a game of Big Ten leaders Illinois and Michigan State.

The Illini and the Spartans share the conference lead with 7-2 records.

“This one stings,” coach Archie Miller said. “The week is what it is. We’re on to the next one. We have to find ways to keep getting better.”

This was offense to bring back memories of the Hurryin’ Hoosiers, when defense seemed optional and scoreboard operators lived with blistered fingers.

In one stretch spanning both halves, IU went 23 minutes without a turnover. It spent most of the game shooting above 60 percent, went 9-for-19 on three-pointers, had an eye-popping 22-6 assist-to-turnover ratio and delivered a 33-29 rebound edge, 22-13 in the second half.

It should have been enough.

It wasn’t.

“It’s a game of inches,” Miller said. “It comes down to a couple of plays. You’ve got to be a little lucky. You’ve got to be smart. I think we were probably a little less on those two in the last two minutes.”

Green led a balanced Hoosier attack with 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers. Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis added 13 points and eight rebounds. Phinisee had 10 points and seven assists.

IU was without forward Race Thompson, sidelined from the back injury suffered against Michigan State on Thursday night.

The game opened at a torrid shooting pace. Maryland was 4-for-4 on three-pointers. IU was 2-for-2.

The pace didn’t slow. With seven minutes left in the first half, the Terrapins had nine three-pointers from seven different players for 38 points, two more than they had previously scored in the first half of any Big Ten game.

That didn’t lighten Mark Turgeon’s intensity. When IU swingman Jerome Hunter got free for an early 3-pointer, a furious Turgeon smacked the padded scorer’s table with both hands.

It would not be the last time.

“They’re really hard to guard, especially when they can throw it in and throw it out and they are making threes,” Turgeon said. “They are almost impossible to guard.”

Maryland shot its way to a 12-3 lead behind Jalen Smith’s pair of three-pointers. IU shot back with a pair of Rob Phinisee three-pointers.

The Terrapin offensive onslaught continued for a 24-14 lead. A Hunter three-pointer cut the lead to five before Maryland unleashed another three-point barrage to jump ahead 38-24. Seven Terps had at least one three-pointer.

With Green perfect from the field (2-for-2 with a three-pointer) and the line (2-for-2), IU closed within seven before ending the half trailing 45-36.

The Hoosiers opened the second half on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two. Jackson-Davis was the catalyst with a basket, an assist and a rebound.

Joey Brunk basket put IU ahead 47-46 with 17 minutes left. At that point, the Hoosiers hadn’t had a turnover in 17 minutes.

The Hoosiers’ second-half offensive surge continued. They were 11-for-13 from the field with no turnovers and a 9-3 rebound edge to push ahead 60-52.

They had reached the brink of a blowout.

Instead, Maryland slowly inched closer. When Jalen Smith wasn’t hurting the Hoosiers, guard Anthony Cowan was (18 points four assists).

“There were three to four occasions where we made a big shot go up eight points,” Miller said, “but they kept coming back and getting to the foul line or making a timely shot.

“There were a lot of big plays. We made some. They made some. Cowan and Smith were the difference in those situations.”

Trailing 76-70 with 85 seconds left, the Terrapins scored the game’s final seven points.

IU had the ball with 14.5 seconds left and a final chance, but Jackson-Davis missed a short shot and Jalen Smith rebounded as time expired.

Miller said he wanted to get Phinissee and Jackson-Davis in a “two-man game” with Phinisee driving and Jackson-Davis doing a pick and roll.

“Trayce had a decent look,” Miller said. “It was a clean two-point look. It didn’t go down. That’s the way it breaks.”

A victory would have propelled IU into the top-25. Now, nothing is sure except Wednesday’s game at Penn State.

“The last 3:32 of the game,” Miller said, “that’s when you’ve got to be really tough minded. That’s when you’ve got to execute, to know time and score. That’s when your communication has to be at its finest.

“A lot of learning can do into that.

“This is one you wish you had the last couple minutes back. That’s the way the game breaks. You have to continue to stay focused. You can’t get too high or low. Now we’re off to Penn State.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss