Thursday, September 20, 2018

The NCAA Tournament light is looking dim for the Maryland Terrapins as they lose another Big Ten conference game against the Hoosiers, Monday night, in Bloomington, Indiana.  With their fourth straight Big Ten road loss this season, Maryland loses another valuable player, forward Bruno Fernando, hurting their chances of a victory in the near future.

Fernando went down on December 7 against Ohio with the same ankle injury, but Maryland was able to overcome the loss of the freshman forward and beat the Bobcats 87-62. Unfortunately, Fernando’s ankle injury this time cost them the game.

Fernando only had six points Monday night before spraining his right ankle in the beginning of the second half.  With only having two rebounds and one assist, Fernando limped off the court and headed to the locker room.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Fernando was a key component in the Monday night game being the only player to effectively guard Indiana forward Juwan Morgan.

“He was the only one that could make him guard,” Coach Mark Turgeon told The Diamondback reporter. “[Fernando] made Morgan guard a little bit, put a little pressure on him there to try to wear him down a little bit.”

Morgan contributed 25 points to the Hoosier’s score board along with five rebounds and four assists.

“It was the least I could do for my team,” Morgan stated to the reporter “The way they were just going at it in practice and just giving it their all, it was the least I could do.”

Morgan played a total of 36 minutes against the Terps resulting in him being 10 for 18 from the field and helping the Hoosiers close the five point gap against Maryland.

With less than five minutes left on the clock, Maryland’s Kevin Huerter passed the ball to Darryl Morsell as he proceeded to slam the ball into the net widening the Terps gap 61-57.  Indiana soon caught up as Morgan made a layup allowing the Terps to lead by one. As Robert Johnson, a senior guard, made the layup, Indiana took the lead as time wound down with 3:15 left.

With one minute left to play in the second half, guard Jared Nickens, put up 12 points by the end of the night and hit a three point shot helping the Terps gain control, which resulted in only trailing the Hoosiers by one. A back and forth match between Morgan and Cowan, who contributed 18 points against Indiana, resulted in a foul being called on Cowan, allowing guard Josh Newkirk to hit two free throws making the score 68-71.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics 

With less than six seconds left in the half, Cowan attempts to hit a three pointer to tie the game, but misses, ending the night for the Terps in a defeating  68-71 score.

Maryland plays No. 6 Michigan State Sunday and No. 3 Purdue next Wednesday. Maryland needs to knock out at least one of those two teams to secure their position in the NCAA tournament.

“Its a tough year for us,” Turgeon told The Diamondback reporter. “and we just have to keep battling.”

 

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