Late in the first half, IU had it largest lead at 7. But as soon as the Hoosiers opted for pyramid shots instead of higher-percentage attempts, Maryland stole the show.
“Their zone really bothered us,” said IU guard Verdell Jones. “We relied on the jump shot and 3 point ball instead of trying to drive and get fouls and stuff. We didn’t get to the bonus quick enough; there’s a lot of things. I can keep going on and on.”
The list of IU’s mistakes were as long as a Christmas wish list. However, the squad was down as little as 3 with less than 5 minutes to go. Jones believes the Hoosiers had their chances.
“There were so many opportunities where we could have really pushed it ahead up to 20, but like I said, I think we relied on our 3 point ball too much and it wasn’t falling tonight.”
The one word coach Crean kept emphasizing in his post-game press conference was defense. He was visibly upset because Maryland improved their shooting from 40 to 56 percent mainly in the 2nd half.
“We did not defend nearly well enough to win any game. Maybe I shouldn’t come in here and say that two years in with all the freshmen and sophomores that we have, and with all the lack of experience that we have, and all those types of things. But it was a winnable game, but we did not pressure the ball well enough, we did not play physical enough, we did not play tough enough on the defensive end.”
The IU women’s basketball team will compete in its annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge game tomorrow night against Florida State. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.