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Jalen Smith leads No. 17 Maryland men’s basketball to last-second 77-76 victory at Indiana

The sophomore stole the victory with a game-winning layup at Assembly Hall.


Coming out of a timeout with 1:08 remaining against Indiana, No. 17 Maryland men’s basketball organized itself in a full-court press. The Terps forced Indiana into a turnover that led to a three-pointer from Aaron Wiggins, cutting the Hoosier’s lead to just one point.

After forcing the Hoosiers into a bad shot on their next possession, Maryland guard Anthony Cowan Jr. passed the ball to Jalen Smith in the paint. The sophomore big man took one dribble against two Indiana defenders and scored a layup to give Maryland a one-point lead with 14 seconds remaining — its first since the 15:06 mark in the second half.

Smith came up clutch for the Terps all afternoon — finishing with a career-high 29 points, as well as 11 rebounds — and his final bucket allowed Maryland to avoid a second half collapse and escape Assembly Hall with a 77-76 victory against Indiana.

“Stix is able to get the basket. We got the steal, Wigs made a tough shot. We got stops,” head coach Mark Turgeon said. “I mean it just couldn’t have gone any better for us the last 2:37.”

From the start of the game, three-pointers gave Maryland an early advantage. Just over 20 seconds into the game, Darryl Morsell penetrated down the lane and kicked it to his right to Smith, whose man had helped on Morsell. Smith didn’t hesitate and let the shot fly for the first points of the game. His make sparked a flurry of three-pointers for Maryland, hitting four of its first four attempts.

By the under-16 timeout, the Terps had missed only one of their three-point attempts, which resulted in Smith grabbing an offensive rebound and throwing down a two-handed dunk. In just over four minutes of play, the sophomore had eight of of Maryland’s 14 points.

With just under 13 minutes remaining in the half, the Terps once again found Smith in the corner as his defender, Joey Brunk, was sagging. The sophomore set his feet and hit his third three of the game, tying a career-high for three-pointers made and pushing Maryland into a 5-0 run (he ended up setting a new high with four deep balls made).

Throughout the first half, the Terps received contributions from everyone from deep. Near the 11-minute mark, Cowan sent the ball to Ricky Lindo Jr. in the corner. While he was in the process of making his first shot of the game from beyond the arc, Lindo was fouled and sent to the line to complete the four-point play. Donta Scott and Morsell added their own three-pointers nearly four minutes later.

Indiana would not go away, though, also relying on the deep ball. The Hoosiers, who are last in the Big Ten in three-point percentage (29.9 percent) entering the contest, hit 67 percent of their shots from beyond the arc through the first 20 minutes.

After hitting their first four threes, the Terps cooled off a bit, entering halftime with a 45-36 lead and shooting 53 percent from beyond the arc.

Indiana started the second half on a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of play, which was capped off with a three-pointer from Aljami Durham, cutting Maryland’s once 14-point lead to only two points. The Hoosiers managed to take the lead and had the advantage for much of the second half thanks to a 16-3 run that began in the final two minutes of the first.

Following over four minutes with no field goals and only two points to start the second half for Maryland, Smith received a pass in the corner and made his fourth three-pointer of the night, giving his team a 50-47 advantage.

However, Indiana continued to produce on the offensive end. The Hoosiers followed Smith’s three-pointer with a 13-2 run that was capped off by their inside-out game. With just under 12 minutes remaining, Jackson-Davis caught the ball in the post and challenged Smith. The freshman made a right-handed layup to give his team an eight-point lead — its largest of the game to that point.

“They are really hard to guard — especially when they can throw it in and throw it out, and they are making threes — they’re almost impossible to guard,” Turgeon said.

After shooting 17-for-31 in the first half, Maryland struggled to find and make shots in the second half. Nearly 11 minutes had elapsed before Smith made the Terps’ fourth field goal of the second half off a layup. Over four minutes later, Morsell notched Maryland’s fifth field goal of the half off an offensive rebound, keeping the team within five.

With over four minutes remaining, the Terps went back to their strength of the day and sent the ball to the corner with Smith waiting. But this time the sophomore badly missed the shot, leading to a Hoosier runout and a Jackson-Davis dunk on the other end to electrify Assembly Hall.

Despite the seven point Hoosier lead, Maryland weathered the storm with Morsell putting up back-to-back layups. Over a minute later, Cowan hit his second three-pointer of the game to bring Indiana’s lead to four.

But as he did against Northwestern, Smith took the Terps home, scoring four their final seven points and sealing a victory for his team on the road.

“We have a lot of guys playing with a lot of confidence, but Stix is really taking it to another level,” Turgeon said.

Three things to know

1. Maryland picks up its first victory in Assembly Hall since joining the Big Ten. Assembly Hall is arguably one of the toughest places to play in college basketball and the conference. Prior to today’s game, the Hoosiers were undefeated at home this season when facing a ranked opponent — most recently beating No. 9 Michigan State on Thursday.

But for the first time since joining the conference, the Terps won their first game in Bloomington and put an end to Indiana’s home streak against ranked opponents. Head coach Mark Turgeon has now won in every conference arena since being at the helm for Maryland.

2. Eric Ayala did a great job distributing the ball. As soon as Maryland won the opening tip, Cowan threw the ball to Ayala and allowed him to bring the ball up in the team’s first possession. The sophomore guard continued to run a lot of offensive sets for the Terps as Cowan played more off ball. Through the first 20 minutes of play, Ayala had six assists, nearly breaking his career-high of seven in just one half of basketball.

3. Maryland could not hit from the charity stripe. After only missing three of their 29 attempts against Northwestern Tuesday, the Terps struggled in Assembly Hall from the charity stripe. Maryland only made 11-of-18 shots from the free throw line, the many misses nearly costing them late, though they were able to survive.