Big Ten Tournament: Terps Beat Hoosiers Thanks to Solid Defense


The Maryland Terrapins are moving on to the Semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament thanks to their defensive intensity in the last two minutes of play.

This Indiana Hoosiers and Terps matchup goes back 13 years. These Two teams played one another at the National Championship game in 2002. Maryland won the National title that year, 64-52 behind Maryland’s Juan Dixon, who had 18 points and three assists. In the new era matchup between these teams, they played each other well in both meetings as conference foes in the regular season.

This game was no different. This game was bigger. There was a spot in the semifinal round on the line.  The Terrapins came into this quarterfinal not only wanting to win and advance but also add another victory to their streak. For Indiana, they were looking for a win and a chance to get a better seed in the NCAA Tournament, because a win here would have significantly helped that cause.

Damonte Dodd scored the first five points for the Terps and they were able to establish an inside presence early. Dezmine Wells gave the game its first highlight play with a fast break one-handed flush. While that got the crowd energized early on, he also did this:

Both teams went back and forth throughout the first half and as Indiana always does, they were able to drain the three-point shot. As the old saying goes however, teams live and die by the three-point shot. With under 12 minutes to go and the ball in Maryland’s possession, a cross-court pass from Damonte Dodd to Richaud Pack hit the bottom of the net, as Pack hit the Terps’ third three-pointer in five attempts up to that point. The score then was 22-15 Terps. 

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This game went back and forth in the first half and Maryland played at a pace conducive to the Hoosiers, which allowed them to keep up and not get too far behind. The first 20 minutes ended with Maryland leading by two, 42-40, thanks to Melo Trimble draining two free throws.

The leaders for Maryland statistically were: Dez Wells (11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, an assist and rebound); Melo Trimble (11 points, three assists and a rebound).  Indiana’s Troy Williams had 10 points, three rebounds and an assist while Kevin Ferrell had nine points and three assists.

Some things the Terps were doing right in the first half: Getting points in the paint and getting second chance points. At the half, the Terps held a 22-14 and 13-3 advantages respectively.

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In the first five minutes of the second half, the Terps went on a 7-3 run which gave them a six-point 49-43 advantage. The lead would continue to be up for grabs as Indiana would make a shot after Maryland would score, and vice versa. This truly was a battle to the final buzzer sounding.

Among the numerous good things Dez Wells did in this game, he was able to find Jared Nickens open for a corner three, giving his team a seven-point lead, 62-55.

Nickens, who is known to be a three-point shooting threat for the Terps coming off the bench, had 10 points in this game.

Dez Wells came down with clutch rebounds multiple times inside the final two minutes, helping the team get the win and advance. I’d venture to say he was the player of the game with his 22 points, six rebounds and two assists. The other heads to the monster that drives Maryland’s success: Trimble and Jake Layman combined for 27 points and 10 rebounds.

The Semifinal Round is set:

These two teams will play at 3:30pm Saturday. The game can be seen on CBS.

Next: Local Schools in Maryland High School Basketball State Semifinals