Each time Maryland appeared to be making a run to pull ahead of Indiana at Assembly Hall Thursday evening, the Hoosiers had an answer. They executed their offense flawlessly, finding open shooters and creating opportunities, especially from beyond the arc, that resulted in what seemed like a never-ending string of backbreaking shots.
For the Terps, they learned once again that life on the road in the Big Ten isn't easy, especially when you're a highly ranked team playing against a conference foe for the first time in their building.
"Indiana was terrific all night from the start to the end," head coach Mark Turgeon said following his team's third loss of the season. "Made some incredible shots. The whole team was great and they were hard to guard. I feel like we were a step behind them all night defensively."
Indiana shot an incredible 15-of-22 from beyond the arc against Maryland. Junior Yogi Ferrell was especially good for the Hoosiers, having arguably his best game of the season, scoring 24 points, making seven of his eight three-point attempts, dishing out five assists and grabbing two rebounds. According to KenPom, Ferrell not only had his best game of the season, but the best of his career from an offensive rating standpoint, finishing with ORtg of 220. His game last night was almost 100 points above his season average of 123.8, which ranks 65th nationally so far this season.
"Yogi Ferrell made a lot of tough shots," Turgeon said.
"After making a couple, the rim kind of just opens up a little bit more and it just gets easier to get the basketball in the hoop, basically," Ferrell said following the win. "So, I was just trying to take what the defense gave me and I was just letting it go and then it was all up to the ball from there."
The 89 points by Indiana represents the largest output scored by a Maryland opponent this season and is the most, in a win or loss, an opponent has scored against the Terps since Oregon State put up 90 in November 2013.
"Indiana was terrific," Turgeon said. "I mean they were great. I thought we were playing pretty well to be down nine with like 10 minutes to go. I thought we were doing some nice things to only be down by nine. And then all the sudden it was by 15, just like that."
The Hoosiers started off the game by missing a free throw, but after Collin Hartman made his second attempt, Indiana made their next four baskets, including three 3-pointers to open up a 12-3 lead. Maryland, however, stayed in the game and didn't panic. Despite Indiana making six of their first 11 three-point attempts, they trailed by just three at halftime.
Unfortunately for Maryland, Indiana would shoot lights out in the game's final 20 minutes.
The Hoosiers shot an incredible 9-of-11 from beyond the arc in the second half. Anytime Maryland was able to score a quick basket, the Hoosiers answered with a three. Dez Wells hit a three for the Terps with 10:25 to go, pulling Maryland within 8, but that's as close as they'd get the rest of the game as Indiana went on an 8-2 run immediately after that Maryland was never able to overcome.
"When they're making that many shots it's hard not to stay close to shooters," Turgeon said. "Our closeouts were bad and our toughness trying to guard the ball wasn't what it needed to be during that stretch. I hated the layups. I know they had three, four or five uncontested three's that they made. But for the most part I thought we were shaking hands, but the film may say different. Give them credit. They played a very smart game tonight."
One of the few bright spots for Maryland was the play of freshman Jared Nickens, who continued his recent hot streak from beyond the arc, hitting four of his seven attempts. He's hit ten of his last 19 attempts over the past three games.
"I thought the atmosphere was the best we've played in this year," Turgeon said when asked about the crowd at Assembly Hall. "They were fired up to have the No. 8 team in the country here."
As a result of their early success this season, coupled with this being their first year in the league, Maryland is going to get an opposing team's best effort when they're playing on the road this season. They experienced that first hand Thursday night against Indiana. But now they have to move on to Northwestern, who visits College Park on Sunday.
When asked what he said to his team following the loss, Turgeon responded "I said Indiana was terrific; we've got to play better. I love you guys and I love this team. And we've got to move on."