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Maryland basketball dominates 2nd half, beats Indiana 78-75

The Terps shook off an incredibly slow start to down the No. 22 Hoosiers.

Maryland basketball Bruno Fernando vs. Indiana Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

With 1:12 remaining in Maryland basketball’s 78-74 loss to Seton Hall on Dec. 22, Bruno Fernando missed a three-pointer on a possession the Terps desperately needed a bucket. After the game, the sophomore said he works on that shot in practice, so he decided it was a good shot.

With 3:40 left against Indiana on Friday night and Maryland leading 64-58, Fernando found himself in the same position. This time he banked in the three as part of a career night. The sophomore scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, powering Maryland to a 78-75 win over the No. 22 Hoosiers.

Like Tuesday’s game at Minnesota, this one was a tale of two halves. The Terps were caught napping out of the gate, and trailed by 14 points in the first half before whittling the lead down to eight at halftime. A 16-0 run early in the second half gave Maryland the lead for good, helping the Terps improve to 14-3 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play.

Indiana’s defense flustered Maryland to 32 percent first-half shooting, but the Terps used a 50 percent mark in the second half to shoot 41 percent for the game. While Fernando dominated, Anthony Cowan Jr. had another strong night with 24 points and seven assists. Eric Ayala also finished in double figures with 14 points.

The Hoosiers were led by Romeo Langford, who tied a career-high with 28 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Devonte Green and Juwan Morgan also scored in double figures for Indiana, finishing with 15 and 14 points respectively.

Even though the Hoosiers made life difficult down low, Maryland still dominated the glass, outrebounding Indiana 42-25. The Terps did a solid job taking care of the ball as well, committing only nine turnovers overall and one in the second half.

Maryland has not gotten out to many hot starts this year, but Friday night may have been the Terps’ worst this season. Indiana jumped out to a 9-0 lead, while Maryland missed its first five shots and committed two turnovers in its first six possessions. Three free throws from Green pushed the Hoosiers’ lead to 14-2, and Indiana would lead by double digits for most of the next 13 minutes. The Hoosier defense gave Maryland fits, making things as simple as ball movement a laborious task. The Terps started the game shooting 4-of-18 from the field, failing to get either Smith or Fernando going.

Maryland started to show signs of life, finally trimming the lead to single digits with 2:58 remaining in the half. A three-pointer from Ayala cut Indiana’s lead to 32-27 with 52 seconds remaining, but Al Durham answered with a three of his own to give the Hoosiers a 35-27 halftime lead.

After Morgan scored off a pick-and-roll to start the second half, Maryland took over. The Terps answered with a 16-0 run, battling all the way back to take their first lead of the game minutes after Indiana had been comfortably in control. An emphatic dunk from Fernando tied the game, and back-to-back threes from Cowan and Darryl Morsell capped off the run, which gave Maryland a 43-37 lead with 15:01 remaining.

The Hoosiers went on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 45-44 with 11:46 to go, but Maryland had an answer. The Terps scored on nine straight possessions, the last a three-point play from Ayala that extended Maryland’s lead to 64-54 with 6:25 to go. Langford kept Indiana in the game with 12 straight points down the stretch, but the Terps stayed strong from the foul line to put the game away.

Three things to know

1. Maryland turned around another slow start. It’s been a trend for Maryland to fall behind early before pulling ahead, but this was an extreme case. The Terps played their worst basketball of the season for most of the first half. But Maryland completely flipped the switch at halftime, using a 16-0 run to take control of the game.

2. Bruno Fernando was a monster. Indiana started out double teaming the 6’10 sophomore, but wanted no part of defending him by the end of the night. Fernando imposed his will on the Hoosiers throughout the second half, getting everything he wanted inside and even banking in a three.

3. Jalen Smith struggled. While Fernando established himself in the second half, his freshman teammate struggled to do the same. Smith struggled with Indiana’s physicality early and could never get into a rhythm on offense. The freshman finished with just two points on 0-for-9 shooting, but was still able to pull down 10 rebounds.

Via StatBroadcast