Indiana and Maryland were tied at 54 with 8:54 remaining, but the Terrapins exploded for 26 points in the final nine minutes to put away the Hoosiers. As the articles in the headlines post make clear, Tom Crean was quite dissatisfied with the Hoosiers' defense, and it seemed that Maryland made a layup or a five foot jumper on every possession of those final ten minutes. Maryland scored 38 of its 80 points in the paint and shot 56 percent from the field in the second half. In what was roughly a 77 possession game, there certainly were areas of improvement: IU's 16 turnovers were lower than usual in number and in percentage (about 20%), and Maryland committed 18 turnovers. IU dominated the offensive boards, with 20 ORs in approximately 50 opportunities, and rebounded reasonably well at Maryland's end. Still, as Tom Crean noted, the defensive effort near the end of the game was poor, and most significantly, that lack of effort resulted in IU's two main offensive threats, Christian Watford and Maurice Creek, sitting on the bench in crucial stretches.
- Watford scored 16 points on 5-10 shooting, but he committed 5 turnovers...again, and obviously the coach was upset with his defense.
- Creek led IU with 19 points on 6-14 from the field and 4-4 from the line.
- Verdell Jones had 10 rebounds, but scored only 6 points on 3-15 from the field.
- Jeremiah Rivers had a great reverse layup and a resulting scary fall to the floor, but didn't do much otherwise.
- In unexpected relief for Rivers, Jordan Hulls didn't do much as a scorer, but he did play 23 minutes without a turnover.
- Derek Elston, who has played so well off the bench, managed 10 rebounds in 20 minutes but shot only 2-10 from the field.
I'm not sure what to make of this. Sadly, it was one of IU's more competitive games against a major conference opponent in the last two seasons. On the other hand, it was a home game against a solid but not overwhelming team, the sort of game that IU fans had hoped IU might be able to win this season. This team will win more than six games, but it's becoming increasingly unlikely that IU will be able to approach .500. I hope I'm wrong, and this team has enough talent to improve (do I say this after every game). Now, the Hoosiers have a week to get ready for a game against Pitt at Madison Square Garden.