Hoosiers come up one play short in loss at Maryland

  • 02/12/2015 2:19 am in

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Indiana came into Wednesday’s game against Maryland at the XFinity Center with five Big Ten wins and no losses in games decided by six points or less. In close games, the Hoosiers had been making plays when it mattered most on the way to a 7-4 mark in conference play.

IU’s first trip to Maryland with the Terrapins as a Big Ten member presented another opportunity in a back and forth contest that came down to the final possession.

Mark Turgeon would call it a “great college basketball game” afterward. Tom Crean shared that sentiment, calling the contest “tremendous.”

But on a night where neither team would lead by more than six points and the lead changed hands 18 times, the Hoosiers could never seize control.

The result? A 68-66 loss in a game where Indiana could not make one more play to push past Maryland for a win. Victory was there for the taking and the Hoosiers simply could not grab it.

“We withstood some poor shooting, we withstood some excellent shooting from them, and at the same time we made plays,” Crean said. “We just made one less (play). It was a great win for them, tough loss for us and a great battle all around.”

Indiana had numerous chances to make just one more play.

In the game’s final 12 seconds, junior point guard Yogi Ferrell missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer from the top of the key that was arguably the most clean look he had all night. And even after that shot missed narrowly, Ferrell had a subsequent putback that rimmed off as time expired.

“It was probably the best shot I took all game that felt like it was going in,” Ferrell explained. “It just hit the back rim, I got a second shot and saw that I had about 2.5 seconds so I tried to flip it up in and it just didn’t go in.”

Ferrell said he was disappointed that he let his teammates down in the closing seconds and added that the miss “will be in the back of my mind for a while now,” but the message from Crean to his floor leader was simple: Keep playing that way and wins will follow.

As much as that final sequence will dominate the discussion coming out of the loss, the outcome was more about opportunities missed throughout the evening for Indiana.

Maryland again struggled to defend Ferrell (23 points, six assists and five rebounds) and Troy Williams (17 points, 10 rebounds), but IU got little from its starting freshman backcourt, James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson. The duo combined for just 13 points on 5-of-27 shooting.

The Hoosiers also shot worse on 2-point field goal attempts (35.7 percent) than 3-point field goals (40 percent). IU turned 13 Maryland turnovers into just nine points.

“We missed two SportsCenter highlight dunks. Collin (Hartman) misses a lay-up late. We miss a blockout late, they get a 3 out of it,” Crean said. “And we’ve still got a shot to win the game on the last possession.”

Indiana will claim no moral victory in losing for a fifth time in seven tries in conference play on the road, but there was progress shown, even in defeat.

After losing its previous three road games by an average of 14 points, it was fair to question whether this group of Hoosiers could compete with the top half of the league away from Assembly Hall. And with just Rutgers and Northwestern remaining on the road schedule, this was IU’s last chance to make a true statement on the road.

It wasn’t a win, but it was a departure from performances at Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin where Indiana was beaten handily.

“All you can ask is that your team does everything to give them every opportunity to win, play through the lulls, ruts and mistakes, overcome them and continue to have that fight and resolve,” Crean said. “And these guys did.”

“If we come out with the same tenacity we did tonight,” Williams added. “We have a great chance. We have some things we could fix. It’s fixable things.”

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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  • InTheMtns

    I love this team. I love this team. Go IU!!!

  • Ms hoosier

    This team is starting to come together at the right time 6 more conference games before tourney play starts 4 are at Ass.Hall. I believe this team is Hungry to finish strong!!! Wouldn’t trade Yogi for any other gaurd in the country the kid has heart and is as tough as they come!!! GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • Stan Duffy

    But what about the points we threw away because we attempted fancy dunks instead of doing simple lay ups? We wouldn’t have needed a miracle shot!

  • Ms hoosier

    Yea that that is frustrating but I think they learned a lesson the hard way.I believe they will learn from it and move on

  • Hoosier Hall

    I don’t know why i feel this after a loss but I’m starting to get a good feeling about this team. Tons of heart and effort paired with talent and hustle. I feel like a Cinderella Final Four run isn’t completely out of the question if we land in the right bracket.

  • Jimmy Johnson

    One play short? Which play would that be? Was it one of the 2 missed dunks?Was it one of the times JBJ drives in and get swatted? Was it one of the at least 5 missed defensive assignment that led to WIDE open 3’s? Was it the turnover at the end of the half where TW drives in with no where to go instead of holding for the last shot at then end of the half. Games are won by making plays throughout the game and not a missed shot at the end.

  • SCHoosier

    True that..MD also got some “rolls”..around the rim for buckets..especially Wells..IU not so much. Havintg the 6-9 Layman post James and Stan late in the game..was just good coaching by MD. Mismatches in the paint have hurt us last several games.

  • SCHoosier

    Possible..but not if James shoots 12% from the field.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    And yet, for all that, they were still in the game to have a shot at the victory.
    Your not wrong at all, prefer to ‘accentuate the positive’ in a loss this!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    JBJ and RJ go a combined 5-27 and we lose by 2 and had a chance to win it, this is gonna be a dangerous team come March

  • dwdkc

    I don’t think he will. A guy with that nice a stroke can’t keep shooting like this. This is the first time maybe ever he’s had to deal with this kind of slump, but he just needs to see a few go down. When he does–look out

  • Lance76

    Someone mentioned JBJ ankle, if not totally healed could be reason shot is off. Still couldn’t beat him in a game of “horse”. He will be fine.

  • Hoosier Hall

    His averages state that he will not continue shooting like that. Probably has more to do with his ankle injury and the fact that he is adjusting to the physicality of D1 basketball for a whole season. He is a streaky shooter though.

  • Hoosier Hall

    You could look at any losing team from every game that has ever been played and collect all of their mistakes from that game and it would sound bad. Overall, we played a solid game with a few head scratching mistakes. Even when we win, it’s easy to spot the bone headed plays. Trust me, as a player, you remember them too.

  • Jimmy Johnson

    My biggest issue with the game goes deeper than just with player mistakes. It goes to a coaching philosophy of trying to change defenses so much that players get confused that lead to wide open threes. I was at a game earlier this year and sat about 20 rows up behind IU bench. At one point in the game there were 3 different coaches calling out 3 different defenses. To me this is a bigger problem than players making mistakes, it is a flawed philosophy.

  • MillaRed

    ….and then your deeper thoughts prevailed when you realized we were supposed to suck again this season but we don’t. Our chemistry issues are behind us and Crean is probably turning in his best coaching performance as a Hoosier. Then you felt a lot better and lived a wonderful life.

  • inLinE6

    The mismatch was because JBJ was too loose and slow and forced to a switch. He never should’ve defended Layman in the post. He was “caught” in that mismatch. I’ve said it before. If JBJ is not making shots, he’s a defensive liability and his minutes should dwindle.

  • inLinE6

    Watch the first Maryland game again and you see the same philosophy. We always switch defenses within the same possession. I know there were areas that we could’ve done better, but defense wasn’t the reason we lost yesterday. It was actually a better defensive effort of the season. Were it not for that absurd 2 out of 15 shots performance by JBJ, we would’ve won. Not blaming our players, but he was 0 of 5 from perimeter, and all of those were better looks than Yogi’s.

  • hoosier oak

    I was really impressed with Troy’s leadership. After JBJ’s last miss he was pouting and Troy yank him back to the huddle. I think this team has grown a lot. Very fun to watch and after last year it’s what us hoosier fans needed. And I totally wouldn’t trade Yogi for any gaurd in the country.

  • MDHoosier

    I wish Yogi would have seen a wide-open Troy under the basket, instead of taking that three….That being said, it was a good performance, considering JBJ couldn’t have hit the broadside of a barn last night. A couple of bounces here or there and the game goes our way. The team should finish conference play strong & hopefully have a good showing at the B1G tourney and then the Big Dance.

  • yimyames

    Hes adjusting to his new muscles, I kinda feel the same happened to Yogi his freshman year, and Will when he started getting ripped.

  • millzy32

    Collin Hartman’s missed layup. Truthfully it was a game changer.

  • millzy32

    Damnit I forgot about that lucky bounce on the 3 by Maryland. That my friend is your real culprit.

  • CFrodd

    JBJ is really having a tough time playing on the road. Can we chalk that one up to him being a freshman? Or is there some underlying problem? Nonetheless, there are a lot of positives you can take out of this loss. Unfortunately the outcome isn’t quite one of them…

  • Hoosier1158

    funny you should say that. I thought that missed layup could really hurt.

  • Hoosier1158

    Playing a top 20 team on the road, a chance to win, another to tie at the end of the game. I thought Maryland would be really fired up for this re-match. I really though Yogi’s 3 looked good.

  • Michael Crawley

    It could be just me but I thought HMP played really well. I focused on Hanner and I just watched his movement he was pretty fluid.

  • Chappy Dan

    Excellent point. Nobody talks about the physical changes the freshman are going through. And no, I’m not referring to puberty for you wise guys out there! The very little working out I do can throw off what little I can do on the court so I’m sure it’s much more pronounced with actual ballers like JBJ and RobJohn.

  • Chappy Dan

    He actually played pretty solid D this game, that play not withstanding. Turned around several drives on his own.

  • Chappy Dan

    I love Yogi and he’s entering the realm of all-time Hoosier greats with his shot making (sick 3 with shot clock winding down), his toughness (single-handedly threatening to win the game while Maryland crapped themselves), and the fact that he’ll be here for four years, but that last three he took…You can’t hold a follow-through pose when there’s several seconds left on the clock!!! I know he said it felt good etc., but had he followed his shot, his putback attempt could’ve been much more controlled. Hate to criticize the guy because I just wanted to give him a big hug after the game. Thanks for everything Yogi and go Hoosiers!

    Also: how amazing is his consecutive games with a 3-pointer made streak? 56 and counting…