COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) This time, Maryland put the proper finish on a tight game at home.
Freshman Kevin Huerter hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:46 left, and the Terrapins got 18 points from Melo Trimble in a 75-72 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night.
A back-and-forth Big Ten duel came down to one final shot, a 3-point try by Indiana’s Robert Johnson that clanged off the rim as time expired.
Anthony Cowan scored 15 points and Huerter had 11 for the Terrapins (15-2, 3-1), who have won two straight since blowing a 12-point lead in the final six minutes at home against Nebraska on Jan. 1.
“We’re getting tougher,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “The slap in the face, the Nebraska game, kind of woke us up and showed we need to be a lot tougher.”
Damonte Dodd had six of Maryland’s nine blocked shots, and the Terrapins snagged only three fewer rebounds than the Hoosiers, who came with a conference-best plus-12.7 rebounding margin.
James Blackmon Jr. led Indiana (11-6, 1-3) with 22 points and Johnson added 13. The Hoosiers have dropped four of five, but coach Tom Crean had no complaints – especially after watching Maryland go 18 for 22 at the foul line compared to Indiana’s 8 for 9.
“To come out and compete like that, play through mistakes, and have the difference at the foul line and still be able to have a shot to win it at the end? We just got to learn from it, get better and move on,” he said.
Indiana trailed 66-63 before Blackmon made a layup and a 3-pointer. Dodd answered with a put-back of a Trimble miss, but two free throws by Juwan Morgan put the Hooisers back in front.
That’s when Huerter took over. After drilling a 3-pointer from deep on the left side, he snagged a rebound on the other end and whisked an outlet pass to Cowan, who made a layup for a 73-70 lead.
“That was big time,” Turgeon said. “Kevin hit the 3, and then the rebound and the pass. It was nice to get an easy one in a game like that.”
Huerter said: “I always tell Anthony in practice to just take off when I get a rebound and I’ll find you because he’s the fastest guy on the court. I got the rebound, there was no one around and I just threw it up and let him run after it.”
OG Anunoby followed with a dunk, and Trimble made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 8.2 seconds to go before Johnson’s miss.
“We were unbelievable on defense down the stretch,” Turgeon said.
After his jumper from the left side bounced away, Johnson slumped to the floor in agony.
“We ran a play to perfection,” Crean said. “The one minus is that it didn’t go in.”
Trimble’s 18 points came on 5-for-16 shooting, but he was 8 for 10 at the line. He passed Dez Wells and moved into 20th on the Maryland career list with 1,400 points.
Blackmon sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a Maryland layup to give the Hoosiers a 55-50 lead with 12:09 remaining.
Trimble responded with a twisting drive that faked Morgan off his feet. But every time the Terrapins got close, Indiana had an answer.
A 3-pointer by Johnson made it 60-55, and Anunoby tacked on a three-point play for a 63-59 advantage.
The Terrapins finally closed the gap, using layups by Cowan and Trimble to pull even with 7 minutes to go.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have fallen from the Top 25 and don’t appear heading back anytime soon.
Maryland: This comeback win keeps the Terps in the thick of the Big Ten race, but they need a few more high-profile wins to get into the Top 25.
The Terrapins’ three starting freshmen – Justin Jackson, Cowan and Huerter – combined for 37 points and 16 rebounds.
Indiana: Hosts Rutgers on Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers are 4-0 against the Scarlet Knights.
Maryland: At Illinois on Saturday in a rematch of Dec. 27 matchup that the Terrapins won 84-59.