BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Maryland-Baltimore County held its own in the first half. It was a second-half barrage of 3-pointers that did in the Retrievers against No. 11 Indiana.
UMBC held the Hoosiers, who came into Thursday night’s game leading the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, to 2-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc in the first half. The Retrievers even went on a 7-0 run to close the half and narrow the deficit to 14.
But UMBC could not contain Indiana in the second half, and the Hoosiers shot 69 percent (9 of 13) from long range to take control in an 89-47 victory.
The Retrievers turned the ball over 19 times — something UMBC coach Randy Monroe said can’t happen.
“We didn’t take care of the basketball,” Monroe said. “You have to take care of the ball in situations and you’ve got to take
Monroe said the experience is something his players could learn from.
“It’s tremendous being here, I want our guys to be in this type of environment,” Monroe said. “It’s something that they can talk about some 20 to 25 to 30 years from now.”
Indiana was without forwards Will Sheehey and Derek Elston — both sidelined with injury — and they lost guard Verdell Jones at the end of the first half to injury.
Indiana couldn’t distance itself from UMBC in the first half, and Matt Roth said afterward that the looks were there from beyond the arc, they just weren’t hitting the bottom of the net.
“It just came down to our ball movement in the first half,” Roth said. “We moved the ball well but we just weren’t getting
shots to drop.”
Filling in for the injured Jones, Roth heated up early in the second half. Just 42 seconds into the half, Roth knocked down a 3-pointer to end a 10-0 run by UMBC.
By the time UMBC could adjust, the Hoosiers had already gotten hot from beyond the arc. Christian Watford, who led Indiana with 22 points, knocked one down and Jordan Hulls followed with another.
Hulls said it was only a matter of time before Indiana broke UMBC’s zone defense.
“You love it when people play zone,” Hulls said. “It’s good because we move the ball so well and we don’t care who gets the
Hulls’ Big Ten record of 58 straight made free throws came to an end, but he still scored 16 points and went 3 for 7 from beyond the arc.
With less than 12 minutes to go, Roth had knocked down four 3-pointers in an 8-minute stretch to give the Hoosiers a 71-35 lead that they would not relinquish.
By game’s end, Indiana shot 41 percent (11 of 27) from 3-point range, outscoring UMBC 52-24 in the second half.
Indiana coach Tom Crean said he was relying on his 3-point shooters to step up in the absence of Elston, Sheehey and Jones.
“We really needed people like Matt Roth and Austin Etherington to step their play up,” Crean said. “Tonight, I think did they did. It was tough to play without Verdell but there again Matt came right in and it was next man up and he did an excellent job with that.”
In a game in which Indiana was searching for bench scoring in the absence of Sheehey and Elston, the senior delivered. Indiana will look to get more performances like that when it heads into Big Ten play to take on Michigan State in East Lansing on Dec. 28 in the conference opener.
“It’s big because he’s a veteran,” Crean said of Roth. “It’s great to see him do that. It’s great to see him go into this break
and into the next wave of the season with confidence because we’re going to need him. There’s no doubt about it.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)