The Maryland Terrapins came into Sunday’s contest ranked No. 3 in the country. And they played like the No. 3 team.
IU has faced quality opponents this season. The Terrapins, however, were a different animal. It felt like the Hoosiers could do nothing right. The Terrapins played the efficient type of basketball they know how to play.
The Maryland Terrapins left no doubt Sunday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall by beating IU 92-56.
“They are a really good team, obviously,” IU junior forward Amanda Cahill said. “They bring in a lot of height, a lot of athleticism and just good movement. That’s not just post — that extends to the guards.”
IU had about as good of a start as possible. IU was shooting the ball well, limiting post touches for Maryland forward Brionna Jones and hanging in. IU lead 7-4, and it looked like things might stay competitive. That was until Maryland ripped off a 32-6 run to take complete control.
By halftime the Terrapins had their lead out to 19 points, and the Hoosiers would need a miracle in the second half. That miracle never happened, and Maryland’s lead kept growing. With the Terrapins’ lead increasing throughout, the confidence for IU declined.
“I think our lack of confidence started to creep in,” Moren said. “They looked tired to me. We just have to get our legs back because everything’s short. That’s what we have to figure out moving forward.”
The Big Ten-leading Terrapins came in second in the country in shooting percentage at 50.6 percent and points per game at 90.3. Sunday was more of that. They shot 58 percent on 36-of-62 shooting. The Hoosiers were no match at 32 percent and 22-of-69 shooting as their shooting woes continued.
IU was outscored in the first three quarters, but it was the third quarter in which the margin was the biggest at 19 points. Once Maryland went on its big first-half run, the Hoosiers had a tough time of things. The athleticism and talent from the Terrapins was on full display.
“We had to come in here today and play really, really great not just to win, but to stay close,” Moren said. “We didn’t play well enough.”
Cahill, who finished with 16 points, paced the Hoosiers as their leading scorer and rebounder with nine boards. Junior guard Tyra Buss had a rough run on just 2-of-17 shooting for seven points. Buss saw her streak of 59 consecutive games in double-figures come to a close.
Maryland had a balanced scoring effort. The Terrapins had four players in double-figures and were paced by Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who had 23 points and made a three-quarter-court heave to end the third quarter. She caused havoc for the IU defense.
“She’s pretty difficult, she’s a versatile player,” Buss said. “She can score on all three levels — pull-up, get to the basket, 3. It’s kind of hard to contain that.”
After a stretch of three consecutive wins, the Hoosiers have now lost their last two. Next up is a road game at Rutgers on Wednesday. Moren, however, is still preaching the same message as the team looks to get back in the win column.
“The message has continued to be that we are still playing for something, and we are,” Moren said. “We still got a lot of basketball left. We got to figure out how to learn from this today – we will – and get better because of it.”
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