No. 15 Maryland men’s basketball is undefeated in 2020 after picking up its second conference win of the season over Indiana, 75-59, Saturday.
With their win, the Terps have won all four meetings with the Hoosiers since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15. And let’s not forget about the 2002 National Championship.
Here’s what we took away from the Terps’ win.
1. Maryland turned defense into offense
With just under nine minutes remaining in the game, Anthony Cowan Jr. picked off a lazy pass from Indiana’s Justin Smith in the middle of the lane.
The senior point guard pushed the Terps’ pace up the middle of the floor and found freshman Donta Scott for a powerful one-handed jam.
Okay then, Donta Scott!— Lila Bromberg (@lilabbromberg) January 4, 2020
What a slam from the freshman... pic.twitter.com/Ll6pLXwPeF
The possession for Maryland was one of many occasions it turned up the defensive pressure to give itself easy transition baskets.
The Terps forced Indiana into 14 turnovers and scored 25 points off of them — 16 of which came in the second half.
“If we guard, we can get out and run,” Cowan said. “I think that’s what everybody wants to see, and I think that’s how we want to play. So we’ve just got to keep doing it.”
At times this season, Maryland has struggled to create offense and make shots. However, the team has no problem when it is able too force turnovers and create pressure.
“We weren’t able to really make anything happen offensively to hang in there,” Indiana head coach Archie Miller said. “Then the defense into offense — being able to break the game open and get that type of lead ... it was just too hard to hold on.”
2. Free throw shooting played a key role
Through it played very well defensively, Maryland only scored 10 of its 75 points in transition.
Much of the time, the Terps would push the pace to only get fouled in transition and be forced to go to the charity stripe.
During its 11-0 first half run that was sparked by back-to-back three’s from Jalen Smith, Maryland was sent to the line twice off fast breaks and notched four points from the free-throw line.
Entering the game against Indiana, Maryland was making 72.4 percent of its shots from the charity stripe.
But against the Hoosiers, the Terps made 84 percent of their attempts from the free-throw line, contributing 21 points to their final score.
“Every play really matters in the Big Ten,” guard Darryl Morsell said. “So we just tried to keep pushing... We’re just trying to value every possession because it’s a long season.”
3. The Terps limited Trayce Jackson-Davis
Going into Saturday’s contest, freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis was leading Indiana in scoring rebounding and blocks. He averaged 15.4 points on 66.4 percent shooting from the floor, 8.7 boards and 2.0 blocks per game.
When asked pregame about the defensive gameplan against the former Mr. Indiana Basketball, guard Eric Ayala said that it was going to be a collective effort.
Against the Hoosiers, Turgeon elected to go with Ricky Lindo Jr., Jalen Smith and Scott to guard the freshman standout.
The trio, along with assistance from a few other Terps, held Jackson-Davis to a season-low seven points on 3-of-8 shooting and only five rebounds. He also committed two turnovers.
“We really wanted to play great post defense without fouling,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “And once we stopped going for every shot fake, which we talked about, our guys locked in and were better.
“If you just work, you can play post defense. And we had guys willing to work.”