But after a Christian Watford free throw tied the game at 54 with 8:49 remaining, the more experienced Terrapins went on a 16-4 run on their way to a comfortable 80-68 win in the Big-Ten ACC Challenge.
The loss was the fourth in five games for Indiana.
Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points to lead Maryland (5-2), which shot 47 percent from the field. Vasquez hit 13 of 14 free throws. Three other Terrapins scored in double figures, led by 19 from Landon Millbourne.
“It was a winnable game and we did not pressure the ball well enough,” Indiana head coach Tom Crean said. “We did not play physical enough, we did not play tough enough on the defensive end.”
The Hoosiers, on the other hand, shot just 33 percent and despite pulling down 20 offensive rebounds, scored just 16 second chance points. Maurice Creek scored 19 points to lead IU and Christian Watford added 16.
Indiana led by seven with 5:29 remaining in the first half on a pair of free throws by Creek, but Maryland closed the half on a 14-5 run to grab a 35-33 halftime lead.
The Terps took the lead for good at the 8:36 mark on a free throw by Adrian Bowie and IU’s final lead was 53-52 with 9:44 on a jump shot by Verdell Jones.
Besides Creek and Watford, Indiana struggled to find offense. Jones shot just 3-of-15 and Derek Elston and Devan Dumes each shot 2-of-10 from the floor. The Hoosiers hit just 7-of-26 three-point attempts.
Crean unhappy with student chants towards Vasquez: “We can be obnoxious, we can be nasty, we can cheer against the other team, but we never use vulgarity. We never use vulgarities against an opponent. That’s not what happened at Indiana in the past and it’s certainly not going to happen under my watch. But I love our fans. I love the energy they brought us tonight. We did not match the energy of our fans. But at no point in time are vulgarities in that crowd going to be accepted. And that cannot happy at Indiana. We have too much pride. We have too many great students, great memories, too many tradition based things here for anything to ever turn it the other way. And nobody deserves that. We’ve got to find a way to be obnoxious without being vulgar because we’re too good for that.”
Maryland turns it over: The Terrapins committed a season-high 18 turnovers. They came into the game averaging just 10.7 per game.
Jeremiah Rivers injury: After a reverse layup with 18:56 remaining in the first half, Rivers left the game with back spasms. He returned later in the first half and finished with five points, six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in 19 minutes.
Up next: Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Madison Square Garden at 9:00 EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Crean discusses fan behavior, courtesy of Ronan O’Shea on YouTube:
Player postgame interviews, courtesy of IU Athletics on YouTube: