With only 10 games left in the regular season, the Maryland Terrapins knew there was only a limited amount of time to build a NCAA Tournament resume. So every game beginning Monday night against the Indiana Hoosiers until the end of the season, carried heavy significance.
And after a season riddled with injuries and illness, they could not sustain any more losses—especially to key players.
Unfortunately for Maryland, it lost on both counts against the Hoosiers.
Maryland came up short for the fifth time on the road, 71-68, against Indiana, but it also lost freshman Bruno Fernando to another ankle injury.
The loss drops Maryland (15-7, 4-5) to 1-5 on the road this season with the only win coming in overtime against Illinois.
Like the stunning one-point loss to Michigan, Maryland was in position to win the game late, but a combination of foul trouble and Fernando’s injury stifled the Terps’ offense.
Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan finished the game with 18 points and was one of three Maryland players to finish in double figures. Kevin Huerter shot 6-of-9 for 16 points, while Jared Nickens came off the bench and scored 12.
For the first 20 minutes of the game, Cowan was a force on offense. He scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half to go with two assists and a steal.
But that changed as the game wore on. He scored five points for the rest of the night and had six turnovers. Cowan missed on a game-tying 3-pointer. He finished the game shooting 1-of-6 from beyond the arc after Indiana forward Josh McRoberts made two free throws, putting Indiana (12-8, 5-3) up by three with eight seconds left to play.
While Cowan’s production was wilting, junior forward Juwan Morgan was hitting his stride.
Despite sustaining a sprained ankle against Michigan State Friday night, Morgan finished the game with 25 points. Ten of Morgan’s points came with less than five minutes left in the second half, as Indiana was fighting to regain the lead from Maryland.
Morgan’s free throw on an and-one play tied the game 62-62. Morgan scored Indiana’s next seven points, including a layup that put the Hoosiers back up by three with 36 seconds left.
Morgan led Indiana to shoot 50 percent from the floor on 28-56 shooting. No other Hoosier came close to Morgan’s production. Freshman Justin Smith and senior Robert Johnson each finished with 12 points and grabbed a combined nine rebounds.
Maryland will be back in the Xfinity Center on Jan. 28, but the schedule doesn’t get easier, as the team will host No. 6 Michigan State.
The Spartans ended Maryland’s seven-game winning streak earlier this month with a 91-61 blowout in Ann Arbor. Tipoff will be at 1 p.m.
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