BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana sent a message to the Big Ten on Thursday night.
It’s back — and it’s not going away any time soon.
Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 24 points, James Blackmon Jr. added 22 and the 23rd-ranked Hoosiers made a season high 15 3-pointers to stun No. 13 Maryland 89-70.
“They have great respect for Maryland, we have great respect for Maryland, they knew it was a big deal and they wanted to see where they stood,” coach Tom Crean said.
Indiana was downright dominant.
The Hoosiers (15-4, 5-1) completely dismantled one of the league’s best defenses by shooting 60 percent from the field and 15 of 22 on 3s. Indiana has won four straight overall, seven straight home games against Top 25 teams and have won a league-high 19 games over ranked foes since 2011-12 including four this season.
And this was their most impressive win yet.
Ferrell was 7 of 8 from beyond the arc. Blackmon had five rebounds to go with three 3s. Troy Williams finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Undersized center Collin Hartman had 15 points and three blocks, both career highs, and the Hoosiers moved into a first-place tie with No. 6 Wisconsin.
In the second half, Maryland (17-3, 5-2) never had a chance.
“We’re just improving,” Crean said. “They’ve been improving all year and what these guys have done over a period of time is bond closer and they’ve really worked hard, I would say, to control what they can control.”
The Terrapins just couldn’t get comfortable.
Jake Layman finished with 13 points, Jared Nickens had 12 and leading scorer Melo Trimble managed just 10 on a night Maryland gave up a season-high point total. The only time Maryland led was 3-1, and the only time the Terrapins were tied was at 26-26.
Otherwise, it was all Hoosiers.
They jumped to a 12-3 lead in the opening minutes, scored seven straight to break the tie after a timeout and opened the second half on a 6-0 run to push a 38-35 halftime lead to 44-35.
“I felt like we were a step behind them all night defensively, and what amazed me was it was a 9-point game with like 10 (minutes) to go,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “I was amazed it was that close the way they were playing.”
Actually, it was 61-53 with 10:25 left, but the Terrapins didn’t stick around long.
Indiana answered with five straight, then used an 11-4 spurt to push the lead to 18.
Maryland never challenged again.
“They’re a great team, a ranked team and beating them gives us more confidence,” Williams said. “This win is great for us mentally, great for us physically.”
Terrapins: Clearly, Maryland didn’t play up to its usual standards. They came into the game, allowing opponents to shoot 37.7 percent from the field and 27.9 percent on 3s. They hadn’t given up more than 77 points in any game this season. And the nation’s No. 9 defensive rebounding team (27.9) managed only 18.
Hoosiers: Hartman has done a terrific job filling in since Hanner Mosquera-Perea went down with an injured right knee. But he was at his best Thursday. Hartman was 3 for 3 of 3 from the field in the first half — all 3s. He opened the second half with two blocks, finishing 4 of 4 from the field, 4 of 5 on free throws with four rebounds and three blocks.
Terrapins: Host Northwestern on Sunday.
Hoosiers: Travel to Ohio State on Sunday.
Maryland is now 2-6 all-time against the Hoosiers. But the two wins came on big stages. The first came in the 2002 national championship game in Atlanta. The Terrapins only other win in the series came on Indiana’s home court in the 2009 ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
ONE, TWO, THREE
The Hoosiers are making long-range shots at incredibly proficient rate. Not only did they fall two short of tying the school’s single-game record Thursday, they have now made 35 of 68 over the last three games.
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