Tue, 17 May 2022

Improving Maryland ready for hot Xavier Johnson, Indiana

Field Level Media
29 Jan 2022, 05:40 GMT+10

Maryland is in the midst of its best stretch of basketball in Big Ten play this season, having won three of its past five games.

The Terrapins (11-9, 3-6 Big Ten) will look to continue that positive momentum on Saturday when they host Indiana in College Park, Md.

Maryland is coming off a 68-60 win Tuesday night at Rutgers, a game in which the starting backcourt duo of Eric Ayala (22 points) and Fatts Russell (23) combined for 45 points. The Terrapins sank 12 3-pointers, with Ayala going 5 for 9 from beyond the arc.

"When we get the guards to score like this, we're a dangerous team," Maryland interim coach Danny Manning said.

Maryland also has played better defensively of late, holding its past two opponents to an average of 62.5 points per game.

"Our team is continuing to grow, continuing to develop," Manning said. "And we've gotten better."

Ayala (16.3 points per game) and Russell (13.1) are two of three Maryland scorers averaging in double figures this season, along with forward Donta Scott (12.5).

Indiana (15-5, 6-4) is coming off a 74-57 win over Penn State. Point guard Xavier Johnson paced the Hoosiers with 19 points and six assists in the win and has been playing at a high level of late, averaging 17.0 points and 4.7 assists over his past three games.

"He is getting everybody involved, and also getting himself involved when he needs to," Indiana forward Race Thompson said. "He really helps set the pace of the game, and then again, it starts for him on defense."

The Hoosiers are back on the road after a three-game homestand. Indiana is 1-4 on the road this season, with the lone road win coming in its last road game Jan. 17 at Nebraska.

"We'll put a game plan together, and we've got to commit ourselves for 40 minutes to go down there and get a win," Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. "It's not going to be easy, but we're capable of winning on the road. We proved that in Nebraska."

Indiana leads the all-time series 9-8, though Maryland has won three of the past four meetings between the two schools.

--Field Level Media

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