Maryland simply had Indiana’s number this year.
For the third time the Terrapins knocked off the Hoosiers, this time in the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament. Maryland defeated Indiana 66-51 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday night.
“They’re a final four caliber team,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said of the No. 6 Terrapins.
After taking a 13-12 lead midway through the first quarter while shooting 50 percent from the field, it was all downhill from there for IU as the Hoosiers went cold.
“In the first quarter they were pressing us and we did and really good job handling that,” redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg said of Indiana’s early play.
For the game Indiana made just 19-of-58 (33 percent) from the field, including 21 percent from three-point range. IU had scored 75 or more points for five straight games before posting just 51 on Saturday night.
Patberg led IU with 16 points but it took 21 shots to get there against a suffocating Maryland defense. Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger joined Patberg in double figures with 10 points apiece.
Maryland’s bench outscored Indiana 31-10, including 15 from leading scorer Diamond Miller and 14 from Ashley Owusu.
Indiana held Maryland to 41 percent from the field and forced 15 Maryland turnovers. Those are numbers that are generally good enough to win games, and Indiana’s head coach was pleased with the effort on that end of the floor.
“For the most part I thought our defense was really good,” Moren said.
But in the end, the shots simply weren’t falling. Senior forward Brenna Wise gave an emphatic “no” when asked if the Hoosiers had tired legs after a hard fought win over Rutgers on Friday.
Irrespective of what caused the poor shooting night, the Hoosiers will get plenty of rest before their next game.
Next Indiana will turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament, and the Hoosiers should have at least 10 days off before their first game.
“They are going to be a tough out,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said of IU after the game.
Indiana (24-8) will find out if they have done enough to secure home court in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament next week. The Hoosiers appear likely to be either a No. 4 or 5 seed. The top four seeds in each regional play their first two games at home. The NCAA will announce the tournament pairings a week from Monday.
Either way, Indiana’s head coach is pleased that her team won’t have to nervously await the bracket.
“It feels good to know we are in this year,” Moren said.
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