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Maryland men’s basketball stifled by Indiana in Big Ten opener, 65-53

The Terps opened conference play with a convincing defeat, failing to find a rhythm on offense.

Maryland v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After an underwhelming start to the season, Maryland men’s basketball had a chance to remedy the noise surrounding it and start Big Ten play on the right note. Instead, it faltered at Indiana, never finding a rhythm.

The Hoosiers comfortably rolled past the Terps on Friday, 65-53.

The Terps have lost 13 of their last 14 regular-season games away from home.

Despite having four upperclassmen starting, the Terps looked lost early. They committed the game’s first five turnovers and had no answer for Indiana’s overwhelming size.

“We did some things, you know, to start the game,” Maryland head coach Kevin Willard said. “... You just scratch your head, to be honest with you, at what some guys were thinking and what some guys were doing.”

Indiana’s frontcourt duo of Kel’el Ware and Mackenzie Mgbako punished the Terps all evening to the tune of 31 combined points. As a team, the Hoosiers’ finished with 40 points in the paint.

Willard noted that Indiana’s size rattled the Terps, but still expressed frustration over his team’s inability themselves to finish at the rim. Maryland made 9-of-21 layups and finished with just 26 paint points.

The Terps let Indiana storm out to an 18-6 advantage, and while they cut the lead to seven, the required second burst was never there.

Maryland lost the turnover battle, allowed 14 second-chance points and made two of its 16 attempts from three. The Terps trailed all game — most poignantly in the first half. Despite Jahmir Young’s best efforts — he paced Maryland with 12 first-half points — the Terps’ inability to sustain efficient play put them in a 40-28 hole at the break.

That hole got deeper as the game went on. After Young made a jumper 40 seconds into the second half, Maryland didn’t make a field goal until the 14:38 mark.

“I don’t mind a freshman going out there and missing ... but we got some older guys right now that just keep doing stuff that you’re like, ‘What are we doing?’”

Donta Scott, who was benched for the final nine minutes, finished with two points on 1-of-8 shooting with two turnovers.

Julian Reese picked up his third foul just 29 seconds after Young’s bucket, and with the forward in foul trouble, Indiana pushed the ball downhill. The Hoosiers scored 12 consecutive points, extending their lead to 20. They finished the game with 46 rebounds to Maryland’s 30.

Despite a last-gasp effort in the final five minutes, Maryland was simply outplayed and outhustled by Indiana.

The Terps fell short in nearly every statistical category Friday, and will head home with more questions than answers. With his team sitting at .500 and having been outscored by a combined 29 points against its only two major conference opponents, head coach Kevin Willard’s sophomore season in College Park is off to a turbulent start.

“We have guys that are just watching [Indiana guard Trey Galloway] and looking around who are fourth-, fifth-year seniors,” Willard said. “And that’s just — if that’s the way it’s gonna be, well then I’m gonna make some major changes.”

Three things to know

1. Maryland couldn’t handle Indiana’s size. The Hoosiers’ length gave Maryland trouble from the opening tip. They scored 14 more paint points and corralled 16 more rebounds.

2. The Terps continue to embarrass away from home. The Terps are 0-4 this season in games not at home and have lost 10 of their past 11 conference road games.

3. Maryland’s offense was ugly again. The Terps shot less than 36 percent from the field and made two of their 16 attempts from deep. Unfortunately for Willard’s squad, those numbers are not far off from its season averages.