Terps fend off Hoosiers 75-72 in another nail-biter

By: Johnny Moseman

In another one of their close games they love playing in this season, Maryland beat Indiana 75-72 in an instant classic in College Park Tuesday night.

The Terrapins were trailing 70-68 with a little over two minutes left in the game. Indiana was rolling at this point and Maryland was struggling to score in the minutes prior. Then Kevin Huerter decided he’d had enough. Huerter knocked down the go-ahead three with 1:48 left and the XFINITY Center exploded.

Indiana’s next possession ended in a missed layup and Huerter grabbed the rebound. He then launched the ball 3/4th of the way down the court to a wide-open Anthony Cowan who made the layup. This gave Maryland a 73-70 lead and it was Indiana’s turn.

“I always tell Anthony in practice if I get a rebound to take off and I’ll find you cause he’s the fastest guy on the court, and I threw it and let him go and get it,” Huerter said.

Indiana’s OG Anunoby cut the lead to one after a ferocious dunk right on Damonte Dodd’s head. The Hoosiers then fouled Melo Trimble and he made both free throws, extending the lead back to three.

Indiana had one final shot to tie it up, but Robert Johnson missed the three and Huerter grabbed the rebound ending the game.

The freshman trio of Huerter, Cowan, and Justin Jackson were incredible in tonight’s game and without them Maryland probably doesn’t pull out the victory. They all scored in double figures. Cowan had 15 points and two assists in 33 minutes of action, while Huerter and Jackson both scored 11 points.

Melo Trimble was once again the catalyst for Maryland’s offense most of the night. Trimble was the one driving and either scoring or passing it off to a teammate, but either way he was the one making them go. He also added a pretty nifty windmill layup at the buzzer to end the first half and give the Terrapins a lead at halftime, 39-38.

Damonte Dodd was also huge for Maryland tonight, but on the defense tonight. Dodd had six blocks tonight and was crucial in neutralizing Indiana’s star big man Thomas Bryant. Bryant only had six points tonight on 2 of 8 shooting from the field.

Indiana’s star tonight was James Blackmon Jr. Blackmon is the Hoosiers leading scorer, averaging 17.3 points per game so far this season. Throughout his career he is also Tom Crean’s highest scoring player Crean has ever coached. Tonight he continued to do what he does best, scoring a game-high 22 points.

One of Indiana’s greatest strengths is their ability to rebound, ranking 4th in the nation in rebounding and 6th in rebounding margin. Tonight they only outrebounded the Terrapins 37-34.

After a sloppy start and slow offense, both teams picked it up in the second half. Both teams combined for 17 three pointers made and both teams shot over 40% from the field.

“Our shot selection was better in the second half, our offensive rebounding in the second half and so were our turnovers so that helped us,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said.

Senior L.G. Gill has looked timid and uncomfortable at times on the floor, but tonight he looked more comfortable and you could see that. Gill ended with seven points and was a menace when defending Thomas Bryant.

The atmosphere was electric for tonight’s game, even though it was not announced as a sell-out. Attendance was announced to be 17,213.

Maryland is now 3-1 and tied for first place in the Big Ten, while Indiana falls to 1-3 in conference play. The Terrapins are next in action against Illinois in Champagne this Saturday at 6 p.m.