4. Maryland made adjustments at halftime
Illinois let this game slip away, but honestly, we didn’t play much differently in the first half than we did in the second half.
The Illini struggled both offensively and defensively in both halves of basketball, but the biggest difference ended up being the fact Maryland made halftime adjustments while Illinois kept doing the same thing.
Maryland making halftime adjustments was huge for them in the victory over the Illini. In the first half, I was excited when the Terrapins would pull up from three-point range. They entered the game shooting 27.7% from three-point range, which ranked No. 345 out of 363 teams in DI basketball.
The Terrapins were launching three-pointers in the first half. The numbers bared out to be true, as they were just 2-of-12 from three-point range in the first 20 minutes of action. This enabled Illinois to play poorly offensively and defensively but still have a lead heading into halftime.
Maryland came out in the second half with a much better game plan. They stopped playing a perimeter game and dumped the ball down into the paint. They also drove to the rim more often, creating easier buckets and foul shots.
In the second half, the Terrapins only attempted five three-pointers, going 2-of-5 from deep. They knew that if they just stopped shooting from three-point range, they could take over and it worked. Illinois didn’t have an answer for the Maryland paint players. This was a great halftime adjustment, and it ended up winning them the game.