The Maryland Terrapins women's basketball team made their first ever trip to Assembly Hall in Bloomington to take on a fading Indiana Hoosiers squad that had lost five of seven since the start of Big Ten play. After seeing the men's squad fall Thursday night, Maryland's women gained a measure of redemption for Terrapins hoops in a 84-74 win.
First half - Toot! Toot!
Both teams started a bit tentatively and, after trading single free throws in the opening minute, the home team excited their crowd by scoring back to back baskets to take a 5-1 lead. In a tightly officiated opening eight minutes, Maryland got early contributions from Kristin Confroy and A'Lexus Harrison off the bench. Confroy scored five points and dished out two assists after Laurin Mincy went to the bench with an early foul. Harrison picked up a basket to supplement the expected scoring from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Lexie Brown as the Terps took a 19-15 lead at the under 12 minute timeout.
A handful of Maryland turnovers helped the Hoosiers stay close but Maryland's defense and some missed opportunities after Indiana picked up a pair of offensive rebounds allowed the Terps to open up a 29-20 margin prompting an Indiana timeout. A foul in the post sent the Hoosiers to the free throw line for a one and one with 6:52 to play. Jenn Anderson made one of two and Malina Howard returned the favor on a similar call just seven seconds later.
Confroy, returning to the floor after Jones picked up her second foul, once again made her presence felt with a perfect pass to Walker-Kimbrough to finish a fast break that pushed Maryland's advantage to double digits for the first time. The Terps opened up a 15 point lead before a pair of free throws cut the lead to 36-23 at the final media timeout of the half.
Brown dropped in a three pointer coming out of the timeout, Mincy and Brene Moseley made three of four free throws extended Maryland's lead to 19 as the Terps capitalized on 12 straight Hoosiers missed shots over a 10 minute span. Moseley's three point jumper with 20 seconds to play put the Terps up by 20 but the whistle happy officiating crew continued tooting away. In all, the officials spotted 21 first half fouls and Indiana scored their last four points from the free throw line as the half finished with Maryland on top 47-29.
Indiana made only eight shots from the floor for the half including shooting 0-11 from behind the arc. They were very efficient from the free throw line where they scored 13 of their 29 points on 16 attempts.
Meanwhile Maryland continued to show the offensive balance that makes them so difficult to defend. In a half when eight players scored, the Terps shot 63 percent from the floor led by 11 points from Brown followed closely by nine by Walker-Kimbrough and eight from Howard.
Second half - Too many TOs
Maryland opened the half with possession and scored their first two points from (you guessed it) the free throw line. The Terps turned the ball over on their next two possessions before Brown found Brionna Jones down low for their first basket of the half.
The Terps opened the lead to as much as 23 but some sloppy ball handling - they picked up four turnovers in the first 6 minutes of the half after having only six for the entire first half - let Indiana go on a mini-run of 7-2 that cut the lead to 19 and prompted Brenda Frese's first timeout of the game. Out of the timeout, Mincy scored on an offensive rebound but Maryland's turnover woes continued as they picked up two more on consecutive possessions and, after a Hoosiers basket with a foul, allowed the home team to be in a position to cut the lead to 18 coming out of the second media timeout.
Maryland's lead fluctuated between 18 and 22 points for a few minutes before a cold spell by the Terps on the offensive end allowed the Hoosiers to go on a 7-0 run that included a traditional three point play and cut the lead to 15. Coming out of the under eight minute timeout, the Terps got the ball inside to Howard who drew a foul and made both free throws.
After extending the lead back to 18, another Maryland turnover allowed a breakaway layup and, with the lead down to 14, Frese called another timeout. It didn't help. Two more Maryland turnovers and an old fashioned three point play saw the Hoosiers cut the lead to 70-59 and energized the long dormant crowd.
Lexie Brown missed two free throws but Jones grabbed the offensive rebound and scored on the put back. The Terps forced an Indiana turnover but couldn't capitalize coming out of the under four minute timeout. Another put back by Jones gave her ten points making her the fourth Terrapin in double figures. Combined with her 14 rebounds, it was the sophomore's fifth double double of the season.
Over the game's final two minutes or so, Indiana went into foul mode allowing the Terps, who struggled a bit from the line, to finish with more free throw attempts (30) than Indiana's 22. After Indiana's final timeout, Maryland got very lazy on back to back inbounds plays leading to two straight Hoosiers steals and layups. Indiana let Maryland dribble eight seconds off the clock before fouling Mincy who made a pair. A final Maryland foul let the Hoosiers finish the game with a pair of free throws but the Terps left with the comfortable but somewhat sloppy 10 point win.
Brown led Maryland with 21 points and Walker-Kimbrough added 18. Malina Howard joined the parade of double figure scorers with 12. The Terps move to 8-0 and will close out the first half of their inaugural Big Ten season on the road at Michigan Thursday night.