By Max Marcilla
Anthony Cowan Jr., crouched down on the floor of Assembly Hall. He had just had his shot blocked one possession after an offensive foul.
One possession later, Darryl Morsell was whistled for a turnover after he touched the ball twice.
The Terps’ late game execution was flawed and, despite another comeback attempt, they fell short, falling to Indiana 71-68.
Their best chance to steal a critical road Big Ten bout came in the final minute, after they were the beneficiaries of two missed free throws by Indiana’s Josh Newkirk. But Hoosier forward Juwan Morgan — whose status was unknown because of an ankle injury — skied to grab a rebound and put back a layup, giving the Hoosiers a 69-66 lead.
Cowan Jr.’s frustrating second half concluded after his potentially game-tying three-point shot clanked off the iron.
It was an uphill battle in the second half for the shorthanded Terps, who added to their loaded injury list when freshman Bruno Fernando suffered an apparent right ankle injury in the first half. He did not return.
Maryland’s unsung hero from a gritty home win against Minnesota — Michal Cekovsky — had four fouls and no points in 21 minutes.
The Terps needed every bit of help they could get. And they got it from a few unlikely contributors.
Jared Nickens’ shooter’s mentality was on display in the second half. After missing a couple of wide open looks in the first half, Nickens made two crucial three-point shots late in the game, including a bucket that cut the Maryland deficit to one with 1:06 left.
His tumultuous season finally seemed to give the Terps some much-needed offensive help, but it wasn’t enough.
Cowan Jr. once again led the Terps with 18 points, adding four rebounds and four assists as well. He also committed six turnovers. Kevin Huerter and Nickens followed, with 16 and 12 points respectively.
Any loss in conference play is tough, but Maryland’s loss to Indiana may be detrimental. The Terps welcome No. 6 Michigan State to College Park on Sunday before traveling to face No. 3 Purdue.