CHICAGO (AP) – Dez Wells scored 22 points, Melo Trimble added 17 and No. 8 Maryland won its first Big Ten Tournament game, beating Indiana 75-69 in the quarterfinals Friday night.
The Terrapins (27-5) got nine points from Wells in the final nine minutes and made just enough defensive stops down the stretch to put away the Hoosiers (20-13). They shot 7 of 8 from the free-throw line in the final 39 seconds to seal it.
That gave the longtime ACC powers their eighth straight win and a spot in Saturday’s semifinals against the Ohio State-Michigan State winner.
Yogi Ferrell led Indiana with 18 points. Troy Williams scored 17 and grabbed nine rebounds. But the Hoosiers shot only 36 percent and will have to wait to find out if they’re headed to the NCAA tournament. Coach Tom Crean hoped Thursday’s win over Northwestern was enough, but that will be up to the selection committee.
Maryland, meanwhile, is headed to the NCAAs for the first time in five years after making a strong transition from the ACC to the Big Ten. The Terrapins set a school record for regular-season victories with 26. But they sweated this one out until the end.
In a charged atmosphere, with fans from both sides trying to drown each other out, neither team would budge.
Maryland was leading 62-55 with 7:23 remaining after Jared Nickens nailed a 3-pointer, delighting a boisterous Terrapins contingent, but the Hoosiers did not go away quietly.
Indiana was within 64-62 when Evan Smotrycz hit two free throws for Maryland. Two more foul shots by Wells after a defensive stop made it 68-62 with 1:18 remaining.
Ferrell answered with two free throws for Indiana, Jake Layman missed the front end of a one for Maryland, and the Hoosiers’ Robert Johnson hit two more foul shots to make it 68-66 with 39 seconds left.
Indiana immediately fouled Smotrycz, who buried two more pressure-filled free throws to make it a four-point game, and the Terrapins made two more defensive stops to clinch the victory.
Indiana: Hanner Mosquera-Perea was in uniform, but did not play after getting helped off the court the previous night. He crashed to the floor and came up clutching his right knee, which already had a brace, as he tried to score midway through the second half. … Ferrell extended his school-record streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 64.
Maryland: Most recent conference tournament championship was in 2004, when it won the ACC.
Indiana: Postseason to be determined.
Maryland: Meets the Ohio State-Michigan State winner in the semifinals Saturday.