Post moves, dunks, rebounds and putbacks — it didn’t matter. Maryland (6-5, 1-4 B1G) had no answers for Trayce Jackson-Davis. Indiana’s (7-4, 2-2 B1G) star big man posted his sixth twenty-point performance of the season enroute to a convincing victory.
Following a slow start, the Hoosiers supplanted the Terps in the second half and handed them their fifth loss of the season on a 63-55 scoreline.
It didn’t take long for Maryland’s defense to impose itself on Indiana’s offense. The Hoosiers had only managed to convert three field goals in the opening ten minutes of the game. And after Armaan Franklin left the game with an ankle injury, Indiana guards were non-factors on offense and the Terps’ effort to limit Davis’ post touches came easier.
“Our guys were locked in defensively in the first half,” guard Aaron Wiggins said. “But once they got boards they got going.”
Despite an early, suffocating defensive showing by Maryland, Race Thompson took it upon himself to will the Hoosiers back into the game. Thompson scored 7 of the Hoosiers 12 points in a game tying run that erased a 10-point deficit. The junior forward accounted for four of the Hoosiers nine field goals in the first half and was just three rebounds and a point away from posting a double-double in the opening period. Maryland’s offense struggled as well, but timely shots from the likes of Hakim Hart and Aaron Wiggins were enough to position the Terps with a six-point lead entering the second half.
“Our offense let us down tonight,” head coach Mark Turgeon said. “We didn’t move the ball as quickly as we needed to,”
Fortunately for Indiana, the Terps haven’t played a full 40 minutes of defensively sound basketball all season — and things didn’t change at Bloomington. With Maryland’s defense and offense largely absent in the final 20 minutes, a comeback effort, led by Jackson-Davis, willed the Hoosiers past the lifeless Terps.
Following a Jerome Hunter three that put the Hoosiers up 45-43, Jackson-Davis went on to score the next 12 points for Indiana in just six minutes. After putting up just 5 points and six rebounds in the first half, Jackson-Davis posted 17 points and 9 boards in the final half and helped extend Indiana’s second lead of the game to double digits and ultimately secure the win.
“We were slow on our rotations,” Turgeon said. “Our rotations just weren’t quick enough and that’s really the only chance we had.”
It didn’t help that Maryland was getting out-rebounded too. In the closing half, Indiana was able to produce 16 defensive rebounds and matched its success on the offensive side of the ball with 7 offensive boards. Maryland had just 14 total rebounds and allowed nine second-chance points in the final period. The Hoosiers finished with an eight-point lead.
“It really just came down to rebounding,” Turgeon said. “We just got our tails kicked on the boards and that was the difference. That and us not being able to make an open shot tonight.”
The Big Ten gauntlet continues against No. 5 Iowa on Thursday.