Indiana picked up its second straight road win of the season, its fourth win in five Big Ten games, and they are now three wins above .500 in the conference with a convincing victory at Maryland on Saturday afternoon.
After being down 8-0 to start the game, Indiana went on a 13-0 run from the 17:51 to the 12:45 mark of the first half. The Hoosiers would relinquish their edge but a 10-0 run to close the first half gave IU a 33-26 halftime lead. Maryland would never get closer than seven in the second half, and Indiana never led by less than double digits in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers won with another edition of The Report Card.
IU (16-5, 7-4) will have the week off before hosting Illinois on Saturday in Bloomington.
Indiana seemed content to play a half court game, knowing that it could get the ball into the paint where it had an advantage with Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson.
Maryland tinkered with zone and tried various traps when the ball entered the post, but for the most Indiana was able to create good looks for its two big mean either through one-on-one matchups or via dribble drives by Xavier Johnson who embraced a pass-first mentality most of the time and had nine assists. Jackson-Davis and Thompson had 24 of Indiana’s 60 field goal attempts, and they combined to make 58.3 percent of their shots including two 3-pointers by Thompson.
IU went just 1-of-10 from three in the first half but 5-of-11 in the second, and that inside-out combination after the break helped put the Terps away. Threes by Thompson and Khristian Lander, two unlikely sources, accounted for half of the IU 3-pointers on the day.
Johnson had nine assists, and in total IU assisted on 17 of their 26 makes, an impressive 65 percent assist rate.
The Hoosiers are fourth in the Big Ten for fewest turnovers since the New Year, with 9.8 per game and had just 10 on the day at Maryland, although the Terrapins were not necessarily looking to create havoc.
Indiana was relatively effective at the free throw line, making 10-of-14 (71.4 percent). They scored .991 points per possession, which is more of a middle-of-the-road effort.
Indiana continues to be a team that lives and dies with its defense, and it was in peak form on Saturday.
The Hoosiers designed their defensive scheme around slowing Eric Ayala, Fatts Russell and Donta Scott, and all three finished below their season averages and combined to make just 6-of-31 shots.
“We set our defense mainly for those two (Ayala and Russell) and Scott because they they scored the bulk of
their points and I mean we kind of locked in there I thought,” IU head coach Mike Woodson said. “Everybody who guarded Eric and Russell we’re locked in.”
The Maryland trio had a reputation of attacking off the dribble and drawing fouls, but Indiana was highly effective at clogging driving lanes. They forced Maryland to shoot 27 3-pointers on the day, their third most attempts from deep this season.
“They saw bodies, I mean they weren’t able to see gaps where they could make plays off the bounce and you know again I paid tribute to the guys in the locker room man because they they they handled the game plan extremely well,” Woodson said.
Maryland shot 29 percent from the field overall including 22 percent from three. Indiana made things particular difficult in the paint, where the Terps made just 10-of-29 shots from two (35 percent). Six IU blocks helped lead the charge.
“We’re protecting the rim,” Race Thompson said. “We try to give no easy layups so you can protect the rim like that get
some blocked shots. I mean it really urges people not to come in there anymore and they start settling for threes.”
The Hoosiers cashed in on Maryland’s 13 turnovers, scoring 15 points off the takeaways. The Terps’ .802 points per possession was IU’s third best performance against a high major opponent this season, and their 33.9 effective field goal percentage was IU’s best effort against a high major.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- Final box score, keys to the game and specialty stats
- Woodson post-game
- Thompson and Lander post-game
- Starters pull out of early hole for Woodson
- Extended highlights:
Trayce Jackson-Davis (A-) Jackson-Davis was solid throughout on both ends, giving IU the steady, composed effort they’ve come to expect.
Race Thompson (A) Thompson is doing a great job playing off of the attention given to Jackson-Davis. He made threes, had 12 rebounds, and he was effective defending Donta Scott in a complete effort. Thompson has made five of his last six attempts from three.
Miller Kopp (B) Kopp got the second half off to a great start with a pair of 3-pointers for his only points. Kopp had his moments on the defensive end, but also had his share of mistakes.
Parker Stewart (C) Stewart was never going to be the right matchup for Eric Ayala, and he ended up playing nine less minutes than Trey Galloway. He was shutout, but to his credit he had three rebounds in 16 minutes.
Xavier Johnson (B+) Johnson wasn’t effective from the field, but he was an excellent facilitator on the offensive end, and he played a major role in slowing Fatts Russell on the other end.
Jordan Geronimo (B+) Geronimo was a rebounding force with eight in 18 minutes to go with two blocks and a steal as he helped continue the strong defensive effort off the bench.
Trey Galloway (A) Galloway did a little bit of everything in this one from attacking the rim, slowing down Ayala, and facilitating the offense. It was another complete effort.
Tamar Bates (C) He could get nothing going on the offensive end, but Bates was bought in and effective on defense.
Khristian Lander (B) Although he committed four fouls in 10 minutes, Lander was largely effective at spelling Johnson on the afternoon.
Michael Durr, Anthony Leal, and Logan Duncomb did not play or did not see meaningful minutes. Rob Phinisee was out with a foot injury.
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