Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Intelligent Conversation

Terps use zone to clamp down on Indiana, win 80-68

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

The early stages of Tuesday night’s game in Bloomington looked painfully familiar to the Terps.

With the Hoosiers beating the press and the Terps struggling to score, it suddenly looked like Assembly Hall had been transported to Maui. However, the Terps’ fortune turned when Gary Williams switched to the zone and Greivis Vasquez slowly emerged from his early-season slump to lead Maryland to an 80-68 victory over the Hoosiers.

It certainly wasn’t a pretty performance as the Terps committed 19 turnovers and missed far too many shots inside the paint, but it was a much-needed road victory after the terrible showing at the Maui Invitational. Vasquez scored 23 points and went 13-for-14 from the line despite shooting only 4-of-14 from the field. The senior guard played much more within the flow of the offense after looking completely out-of-sync in Hawaii.

Also needing to rebound from a poor performance in Maui, Landon Milbourne overcame foul trouble to add 19 points and 7 rebounds to help the Terps improve to 5-2 on the young season.

Tom Crean’s Hoosiers could not find the shooting touch against the Maryland zone, finishing just under 33 percent from the field despite freshman Maurice Creek finishing with 19 points.

While the Hoosiers are still down after the fallout of the Kelvin Sampson era, a badly-needed road victory over a non-conference opponent from the Big Ten is nothing to take for granted after the struggles of last week. Gary Williams will also be the first to remind everyone how difficult it is to play in Bloomington after his days at Ohio State.

Do the Terps need to improve? Absolutely, but Tuesday’s win was a step in the right direction. The return of Dino Gregory on Dec. 12 will provide a shot in the arm to a thin and inexperienced frontcourt.

Maryland must now look ahead to its meeting with No. 3 Villanova—and another golden opportunity to build the non-conference resume—in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center on Sunday. It will be a daunting task, but Williams’ teams always seem to rise to the occasion in these spots.

Check out the box score here and the live blog below.

____________________________________

9:40 p.m. — That’ll do it. The Terps improve to 5-2 with an 80-68 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers.

Again, it wasn’t pretty, but a road victory should never be taken for granted against a major conference school.

Back shortly with some final thoughts.

9:38 p.m. — Quite possibly the longest final minute I’ve ever seen of a 14-point game.

9:34 p.m. — It’s very good seeing the Terps’ effort from the line. They are 20-for-27 from the line after shooting miserably from the charity stripe in Hawaii.

77-63, Maryland leads with a minute to play.

9:30 p.m. — Maryland still has a ton of work to do, but this was a badly-needed victory.

Vasquez sinks one of two to put the Terps up by 13 with 1:30 to go.

9:27 p.m. — Milbourne scores—and the foul!

Another big game for the senior forward. He now has 19 points.

9:25 p.m. — Milbourne with the big shot to put the Terps up by 9 points. It’s looking good right now, and you can give the credit to the Maryland zone—and Indiana’s HORRENDOUS shooting.

9:23 p.m. — Definitely agree with Raftery’s comment about abandoning the press. Indiana was killing it.

9:21 p.m. — Jones is whistled for the walk, and we’ve reached our final media timeout.

It’s certainly been a sloppy game.

9:19 p.m. — Somehow I just lost my last two entries. Having some internet issues, so I apologize.

Maryland grows the lead to 7 points.

9:09 p.m. — Bowie is called for the offensive foul, and we’ve reached an official timeout.

Big Ten leads the ACC, 3-0, in the Challenge. The conference is counting on the Terps right now.

9:08 p.m. — Hayes with the floater in the lane, and Jordan Williams wins the challenge on the other end.

Williams then hits the jump hook in the lane, and the Terps are up by 5.

Maryland doing a VERY nice job playing the zone, giving the Hoosiers fits offensively.

9:06 p.m. — Bowie makes 1-of-2, as I couldn’t help but notice the Dwight Schrute head in the crowd. Love The Office.

9:04 p.m. — Three fouls on Padgett now. The fouls on the Maryland big men is getting worrisome, especially if you’re not comfortable with Choi on the floor.

9:03 p.m. — Nice shot by Jones, as Mosley got lazy on the defensive end.

He makes up for it on the other end, hitting the jumper as we’re playing seesaw basketball with under 10 minutes to go.

9:02 p.m. — Scary to see Mosley holding the leg after what he went through last year. Hope he’s okay.

Mosley goes to the line and drains them both, giving us another lead change.

9:00 p.m. — So now Hayes is going to start missing the three-pointer too?

This is danger time right now for the Terps.

8:59 p.m. — Looked pretty clean on the Choi foul, but I’m not exactly partial.

Watford goes to the line and drains them both.

8:58 p.m. — Choi hits one of two, but Creek hits the three-pointer, putting the Hoosiers back in front.

Not good.

8:56 p.m. — Indiana is shooting just 37 percent from the field, but the Terps only lead by 1. This team should be winning by more than that.

8:54 p.m. — Beautiful pass by Padgett to Mosley against the 2-3 zone.

But Dumes hits a three-ball on the other end to cut the lead to 1.

8:53 p.m. — Nice jumper falling away by Mosley to end the Indiana run. Big shot for the Terps on that possession.

8:52 p.m. — Bowie with the offensive foul, continuing his miserable start to the season.

8:51 p.m. — Milbourne picks up his third foul with an over-the-back. Not good for the Terps. This team really needs to get Dino Gregory back.

And there we go with the Jin Soo Choi scholarship factoid for the night.

8:50 p.m. — I completely understand this team needs to score points in transition, but you cannot just throw any shot up near the rim. Milbourne’s last miss had virtually no chance of going in from that angle.

8:49 p.m. — Watford swats Vasquez’s shot, but Elston air-balls the three. Milbourne scores on the other end, building the lead to six points.

Indiana gets it to the middle of the zone and Jones hits the jumper. That’s what you need to do to beat the zone.

Vaquez is blocked again, and Moore scores and is fouled on the other end.

Good grief.

8:43 p.m. — Williams misses another easy one but thankfully gets the offensive board and puts it in.

Aren’t the easy ones supposed to be, well, easy?

8:42 p.m. — Hulls misses the three, but Elston cleans up the glass. Indiana needed that bucket badly.

8:41 p.m. — Beautiful look from Mosley to Hayes, building the Terps’ lead to four points.

Indiana continues to struggle against the zone, but Maryland continues to struggle to hold onto the ball.

8:40 p.m. — Vasquez got away with a carry there, but the makeup call is made with a walk by Jordan Williams anyway.

It’s not a good thing to have as many turnovers (13) as field goals.

Very sloppy.

8:38 p.m. — The Terps go with the same lineup to begin the second half, and the Hoosiers get the ball.

8:35 p.m. — Looking around at the other scores from the Challenge, Northwestern leads N.C. State in the second half by 8 while Wake Forest continues to trail Purdue in the second half.

Of course, Penn State already knocked off Virginia last night.

Could this be the year the Big Ten FINALLY gets the best of the ACC?

8:26 p.m. — Don’t forget to check out the halftime stats here.

8:21 p.m. — Vasquez with a big three-pointer to give the Terps a two-point lead. He appears to slowly be digging himself out of the slump.

Despite 12 turnovers and a slew of misses from point-blank range, Maryland enters the half with a 35-33 lead.

8:17 p.m. — Rivers makes sure everyone know his back is fine with the steal and slam. Ugh.

Mosley finally finishes one at the rim.

8:16 p.m. — That makes 10 turnovers in the half.

8:15 p.m. — Milbourne hits the freebie to complete the three-point play. As sloppy as the play has been, the Terps can go on a nice run here and regain the lead going into the locker room.

Hayes misses one near the basket. Unbelievable.

8:12 p.m. — Mosley with ANOTHER miss at point-blank range, but Milbourne cleans it up and is fouled.

Official timeout as the Terps have cut the Indiana lead to 31-29.

8:11 p.m. — Hayes’ last three-ball just ended a scoring drought of over three minutes.

After an Indiana three, Vasquez FINALLY hits a trey, cutting the lead to four points.

8:10 p.m. — Where would this team be without Hayes right now? He’s not a superstar, but he’s the only one on the team that can knock down the outside shot.

8:09 p.m. — 9 turnovers and 8 field goals. Horrendous.

8:06 p.m. — Can ANYONE on this team finish at the basket? The Terps have gotten some decent looks, but no one can finsh.

8:04 p.m. — My early assessment of this one: very similar to what we saw in Maui. The poor shooting continues, and the press is looking vulnerable. I guess you can add turnovers to the Terps’ woes, something we haven’t seen to this point of the young season.

8:03 p.m. — Devan Dumes nails the triple.

Another turnover by the Terps. Tom Crean has his Hoosiers ready to play in this one.

We’ve reached the under-8 timeout. Maryland trails, 26-21.

8:01 p.m. — When is Vasquez going to start hitting some shots? This team needs him to play better. Plain and simple.

8:00 p.m. — Mosley showing some serious ups there. Not sure I agree with the call.

7:57 p.m. — Williams needs to be moving when trying to catch that pass. It will go as a turnover by Hayes, but that one is on the big man.

The Terps continue to turn the ball over. That’s six already.

7:56 p.m. — Very nice take by Adrian Bowie. He’s struggled mightily this year, so that will be nice for his confidence.

7:55 p.m. — Milbourne with the very friendly shooter’s roll.

Watford scores and is fouled by Milbourne. That’s his second. Not good.

7:54 p.m. — Sure, Indiana has five titles, but what did the Hoosiers do in their last title game appearance?

Juan.

7:52 p.m. — Nice look from Vasquez to Milbourne who finishes, giving the Terps the 13-11 lead.

Following a Creek miss, the Terps score in transition with Milbourne cleaning up a Mosley miss.

Timeout, Indiana.

7:48 p.m. — Elston ends the scoring drought for the Hoosiers with the free throw.

If Mosley can consistently hit that jumper in conference play, the Terps are a FAR better team.

7:47 p.m. — Another turnover but a GREAT block by Mosley to turn away the layup by Jones.

7:46 p.m. — Milbourne is just pure with that baseline jumper.

And the Terps are doing a much better job on the glass since the start.

7:43 p.m. — After the first official timeout, we’re tied at 5. Another slow start with the shooting. Gary Williams continues to show confidence in his players, believing those shots will fall later in the season.

Problem is this game is much more important than people realize considering the Terps’ weak non-conference schedule.

7:41 p.m. — Eric Hayes again with a shot to calm things down. We’ve seen it over and over this year.

He then makes a great dish but Williams walks with it.

7:40 p.m. — The bigs MUST hit their free throws.

7:39 p.m. — Six missed shots in a row. Did Assembly Hall move to Maui?

7:37 p.m. — Tough break to lose your point guard early, especially when you’ve been struggling.

Milbourne with the miss, and Pritchard cleans up the offensive glass on the other end for the Hoosiers. Maryland cannot give up second-chance points.

7:34 p.m. — Vasquez is very aggressive out of the gate, but his shooting woes continue.

On the other end, a nifty finish by Jeremiah Rivers, but he’s down and in pain.

7:31 p.m. — Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery (ONIONS!) will have the call for tonight’s game. One of my favorite crews.

Here are the lineups:

Maryland – Vasquez, Hayes, Mosley, Milbourne, Williams

Indiana – Creek, Jones III, Watford, Rivers, Pritchard

7:27 p.m. — It’s clear the spotlight has been taken away from this one today with the announcement of Ralph Fridgen remaining as the head football coach at Maryland. While the frustration from a 2-10 season is palpable, anyone paying attention to the finances behind the the decision should not be surprised with the decision.

When you have $4 million obligated to your current coach and $1 million promised to coach-in-waiting James Franklin and understanding the financial obligation to bring in another coach, it was just too steep of a price to pay. It’s clear the football program has major issues, but the University and athletic department was not about to put itself in anymore financial peril than it already faces with the football program.

7:15 p.m. — Good evening from my couch as we’re 15 minutes away from the Maryland Terrapins (4-2) taking on the Indiana Hoosiers (3-3) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Terps are hoping to rebound from a horrendous trip to Hawaii where they dropped games to Cincinnati and Wisconsin, returning with only a lackluster victory over Division II Chaminade to their credit.

Senior forward Landon Milbourne was particularly critical of the Terps’ effort in Maui, offering this insight prior to the trip to Bloomington.

“A couple of guys on the team might have been caught up in the ‘Maui moment’ instead of realizing we had to go out there and win games. . .We’ve got to grow up a little bit and be more mature when it comes to getting ready for games”

Regardless of the specific individuals to which Milbourne was referring, it was painfully apparent the team lacked focus and passion over the three-day tournament, shooting poorly and being outrebounded by Cincinnati and Wisconsin.

Indiana had even greater struggles in Puerto Rico last week, dropping all three games with losses to Ole Miss, Boston University, and George Mason. Head coach (and John Harbaugh’s brother-in-law) Tom Crean was the chosen one a year ago to pick up the pieces left behind by Kelvin Sampson, and the Hoosiers struggled in his first season, going only 6-25.

Despite the rough record to begin the year, Indiana is hopeful for the future with the strong start by freshman Maurice Creek, who is averaging 16.3 points per game in his first six games.

Tonight’s game can be seen on ESPN2, and don’t forget to check out our thoughts on Twitter (@WNST) throughout the game.

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