BLOOMINGTON, IND. — The Maryland men's basketball team came to storied Assembly Hall looking to break the hex Indiana seems to have on nationally ranked teams. The Terps also came to the Big Ten Conference's most iconic arena looking to build on their growing reputation as a good road team.
Repeating the problems that led to their only previous road loss of the season, at Illinois, the No. 13 Terps had trouble starting the second half and were crushed, 89-70, by the No. 23 Hoosiers. It was the most one-sided defeat of the season for Maryland (17-3, 5-2).
Junior guard Yogi Ferrell led Indiana (15-4, 5-1) with one of the most spectacular shooting performances of the season, hitting seven of eight 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 24 points. Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. added 22 points, while sophomore forward Troy Williams finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Trailing by just three points after being down by as many as nine earlier, the Terps started the second half with a couple of turnovers. The Hoosiers, meanwhile, just kept hitting shots, finishing 30-for-50 overall, including 18-for-25 in the second half, and 15-for-22 from beyond the arc.
"I watched [Indiana's] game at Illinois. This was a different team," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said of the Hoosiers. "I thought we'd guard them a little bit better. Give them credit. … Indiana was terrific. They were great. I thought we were playing pretty well just to be down nine, and then it was 15."
Indiana now has won seven straight games at home over a ranked opponent and 14 of its past 16. The blowout also broke a three-game winning streak for Maryland (17-3, 5-2), which fell from a tie for first to third in the Big Ten, behind Indiana and Wisconsin.
"When they're making that many shots, it's hard not to stay close to shooters," Turgeon said. "Our closeouts were bad. Our toughness trying to guard the ball wasn't there when it needed to be during that stretch. I hated the layups. Jump shots over [contesting] hands I never mind."
Leading 38-35 at halftime, the Hoosiers scored on their first three possessions. The Terps struggled just holding on to the ball. A 14-5 run by Indiana gave it a 52-40 lead with a little under 15 minutes left in the game.
"We played well in the first half, for how well they were shooting. The second half, we just came out and we had a lot of missed opportunities – layups, some bad turnovers," said junior forward Jake Layman, who scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the first half.
Though the Terps cut the deficit to eight on successive drives by Trimble and fellow freshman guard Dion Wiley, the momentum didn't last, as Ferrell (8-for-10 overall) and Blackmon (8-for-14, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc) took the lead of sophomore forward Collin Hartman, who had three first-half 3-pointers.
Each time the Terps seemed to get back in the game, the Hoosiers answered. After a 3-pointer by senior guard Dez Wells (nine points on 3-for-10 shooting) cut the deficit to eight, 61-53, Ferrell made a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Freshman Robert Johnson followed with yet another 3-pointer.
By the end of the night, "It felt like a lot more" than 15 3-pointers by Indiana, Turgeon said. "It felt like they made about 25 of them, to be honest with you."
The Terps didn't shoot poorly, hitting 27 of 53 overall and 10 of 20 3-pointers. The defense that shut down Michigan State in Saturday's 16-point romp at home, and that had held up against all but a few offenses, couldn't stop the Hoosiers.
It was a tough night for Trimble, who after scoring 21 points in the first half against Michigan State had just three before halftime and 10 overall. It was clear which of the Big Ten's best point guards was better, for at least this night.
The Terps' solid defense also struggled, particularly in the second half. Maryland came in as one of the nation's top teams in 3-point defense, but the Hoosiers lived up to their reputation as long-range shooters.
"We could have done a better job guarding the 3-point line, but when they're not missing, it's hard to guard," Layman said.
As one of Indiana's best overall games in Tom Crean's seven-year tenure came to an end, much of the announced sellout crowd of 17,472 chanted, "Overrated," at the Terps.
Despite the loss, Turgeon remained upbeat, crediting the Hoosiers for their shooting and acknowledging the raucous crowd for what he called "the best [atmosphere] we played in all year. They were fired up to have the No. 8 team [in the USA Today coaches' poll] in the country. They were terrific. Their fans were great. At times, I thought we were pretty good."
Layman seemed to appreciate the history and hysteria of Assembly Hall.
"It was fun," he said. "For the first half."
Notes: Freshman Jared Nickens finished with 12 points, hitting four of seven shots from 3-point range. ... The Terps will face Northwestern at home Sunday.