Morgan's 25 leads IN past Maryland

Elias Hubbard
January 23, 2018

Juwan Morgan did not let a bad ankle slow him down Monday night at Assembly Hall. That time he missed two games against Penn State and Michigan State but then returned and basically played with a sore ankle the final 14 games. Still, I think the Hoosiers can bang out a cover here. "It started to feel good and it hurt not being in practice because the guys were going hard in practice, so it was the least I could do going out tonight and giving it my all".

For Morgan, it was his sixth 20-point game of the season including the fourth in eight conference games. Not only did Monday present a chance to beat a Hoosiers team that has elevated its play at home this season - IN entered the night 3-0 on its home floor IN league play - but it would also help burnish the Terrapins' postseason résumé and give them momentum ahead of Sunday's home matchup against Michigan State.

The more pressing matter was that Maryland needed to find a way to win a Big Ten game on the road; it had eked out one such victory in overtime at IL in early December but had since been blown out at Michigan State and Ohio State and lost after a late-game defensive breakdown at Michigan.

Maryland (15-7, 4-5) is now 1-5 in true road games this season. Both teams were trading small one possession leads back and forth. He made the free throw to tie the game at 62 with 4:13 to play.

IN wasn't finished, going on a 7-0 run capped by a Johnson layup after a steal, and the Hoosiers took the lead 64-62.

After a free throw by Morgan made it 65-63, Cowan was called for charging. Morgan grabbed the rebound and scored to push the lead back to three with 36 seconds left.

Morgan said the second missed free throw nearly happened in slow motion in his mind.

"I thought it was about to roll in and I jumped before it came out", Morgan said of the key rebound and score.

I know Brian Evans played through some tough times back in the day. "And I just went out there and showed what I could do". Maryland countered with a 13-4 run to grab a 18-16 lead.

Notes: Indiana's Zach McRoberts had seven points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists.

After Indiana missed two free-throws, Huerter had a prayer from half-court fall short and seal the narrow three point victory for the Hoosiers.

Indiana: The Hoosiers have improved steadily this season, and Monday's game was another example of how far they've come.

Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss and 4-0 ATS in the last four home games. As Indiana keyed on Cowan and Huerter, Maryland's offense received a jolt from its bench, including from Jared Nickens (12 points), who hit a crucial three-pointer with 6:02 remaining to tie the game at 57.

IN didn't allow Maryland another basket over the ensuing 3:47 and during that span, the Hoosiers made three steals and blocked three shots. In the second half, they were 9-for-29, 31 percent. IN was 6 of 18 on 3s and forced 18 turnovers. In the second half, he committed all six of his turnovers. However, the injury didn't seem to bother the junior forward as he did what he has done for most of the season, which is lead the way for this IN team.

Maryland's Bruno Fernando suffered a right ankle injury in the first half and wasn't able to return.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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