COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland gave up the game’s first nine points, trailed by 14 with 13 minutes elapsed and faced a double-digit deficit early in the second half.
Strangely enough, with this team that’s just about a sure-fire formula for victory.
Bruno Fernando had a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds, Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 24 and the Terrapins rallied past No. 22 Indiana 78-75 Friday night.
It was the fifth straight victory for Maryland (14-3, 5-1 Big Ten), which used a 16-0 run in the second half to take control.
“Just an incredible win, because we were not very good at the start,” coach Mark Turgeon said.
Three times during their winning streak, the Terrapins rebounded from a halftime deficit. It also happened on Jan. 2 against then-No. 24 Nebraska and at Minnesota on Tuesday.
The Terps are 5-1 this season when trailing at the break. Not bad, but it’s been tough on their coach.
“Hopefully we can become a better first-half team,” Turgeon said.
Freshman guard Romeo Langford scored 28 points, Devonte Green had 15 and Juwan Morgan added 14 for Indiana (12-4, 3-2). The Hoosiers shot 12 for 28 in the second half and were outscored 51-40.
Indiana went 16 for 16 at the foul line and committed only seven turnovers, but that was offset by Maryland’s 18 offensive rebounds.
“We just couldn’t get it done on the glass tonight,” coach Archie Miler said. “We just gave them 18 second shots and that was the difference in the game.”
Fernando led the charge with five offensive rebounds, some of which he turned into put-backs. He went 11 for 12 from the field to surpass his previous career best of 21 points.
“He was as good as it gets in terms of what he was being asked to do: finishing around the rim, offensive rebounding,” Miller said. “He’s a load.”
After Morgan made the first basket after halftime to make it 37-27, the Terps used their 16-point surge to take the lead for the first time.
Cowan and Darryl Morsell each contributed five points to the surge, and Maryland applied a tight zone defense to force Indiana into nine successive missed shots.
“We really keyed in on defense. We were able to get some easy ones in transition,” Cowan said.
The Terrapins never lost the lead, in part because their only turnover of the second half came with 11 seconds left. And that is how you make up for a lousy first half.
“Obviously, we had another slow start,” said Cowan, who finished with a game-high seven assists. “We’ve got to figure that out. But we really keyed in on the game plan and started playing.”
Maryland star freshman Jalen Smith went 0 for 7 during a scoreless first half and finished with 2 points on 0-for-9 shooting, but he contributed 10 rebounds.
BACK TO BACK
The victories over Nebraska and Indiana mark the first time since the 2001-02 season that Maryland defeated ranked teams in succession at home.
HURTS SO GOOD
Alabama backup quarterback Jalen Hurts watched the game with new Maryland football coach Michael Locksley.
Hurts entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal earlier this week and is checking out possible destinations. Locksley was the offensive coordinator at Alabama, so player and coach know each other well.
During the first half, when Locksley was shown on the scoreboard screen, many of the students shouted in unison, “We want Jalen!”
Indiana: Though it’s not necessarily an unusual occurrence in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers are a completely different team on the road (1-4) than at home (10-0). After playing brilliantly at the outset, Indiana unraveled during a horrid second half.
Maryland: The young, inexperienced Terrapins appear to have grown up. Undaunted by an early deficit against a ranked and storied college basketball team, Maryland played lights-out over the final 19 minutes on both ends of the floor.
“We’re getting better. We’ve really improved since Christmas,” Turgeon said. “We wouldn’t have won that game before Christmas. We wouldn’t have figured it out.”
Indiana: Hosts Nebraska on Monday night, the only meeting between the schools this season.
Maryland: Faces Wisconsin at home Monday night, the first of two games between the teams in a 19-day span.