BLOOMINGTON – Indiana was tied with Maryland with less than 9 minutes remaining, creating a buzz throughout a packed Assembly Hall.
And then the Hoosiers went cold. Ice cold.
IU made three field goals in the final 9:30 as Maryland ran away for an 80-68 victory Tuesday in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest.
(Maryland’s) zone really bothered us, Indiana sophomore guard Verdell Jones III said. We relied on the jump shot and the three-point ball instead of trying to drive and get fouls.
The Hoosiers made 10 of their first 20 shots, racing to a seven-point lead.
The Terrapins (5-2) switched to a zone and IU (3-4) subsequently struggled, going 13 for its final 50 from the floor.
There was a time in the first half where we let the game get away from us because we started shooting jump shots and tried to manufacture shots instead of keep reversing the basketball and get to the rim, IU coach Tom Crean said. You play against a good team, you’ve got to stay with what you’re doing.
As much as the offense scuffled, Crean said defense cost the Hoosiers a shot at taking a winnable game.
We did not pressure the ball well enough. We did not play physical enough, Crean said. We did not play tough enough on the defensive end.
Four Terrapins reached double figures in scoring. Greivis Vasquez led the way with 23 points. Landon Milbourne scored 19 points. Eric Hayes and Sean Mosley had 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Maurice Creek and Christian Watford were the only Hoosiers to reach double figures, scoring 19 and 16 points, respectively.
Creek made two free throws to give IU a 28-21 lead with 5:59 to go.
Nothing was working. They were scoring on us, they were hurting us in transition, Maryland coach Gary Williams said. We were giving them open looks in transition, which was their game.
The Terrapins made the move to the zone. Maryland outscored the Hoosiers 14-5 the rest of the half.
They came after us. Our press didn’t exist, Williams said. They did a great job of attacking our press. We don’t get out of it much, but we did (Tuesday). We were able to withstand that hit early and then settle down and get the lead at halftime.
There were six lead changes and five ties in the second half. The final tie came after a Watford free throw, knotting the game at 54 with 8:49 to go.
Maryland then went on a 16-4 run in a span of 6:30. A Derek Elston layup served as IU’s only field goal in the stretch. When the spurt ended, the Terrapins led 70-58. IU fell to 3-6 in the Challenge.
It was a game we definitely should have won, Jones said. We just have to learn when we go up, we’ve got to step on their throats all the way.