By Alex Mann.
On a night when Maryland recognized the 2002 National Champions before a packed Xfinity Center, it was the Iowa Hawkeyes, not the No. 24 Terrapins, who came out on top: 83-69.
“We didn’t defend again and I thought Iowa was terrific,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “Transition defense, rebounding, post defense wasn’t good enough today. They deserved to win.”
It was all Iowa, all night.
Jordan Bohannon (24 points, five assists and three rebounds), who connected on eight of 10 three-pointers, paced the Hawkeyes from deep, as the team shot 61.5 percent (16 of 26) from three.
Iowa’s 15 offensive rebounds edged the Terps’ 11. But the Hawkeyes scored 30 second-chance points, while Maryland managed only six.
Both teams managed 28 points in the paint, but Iowa forward Tyler Cook (21 points and 10 rebounds) dominated offensively and none of the Maryland big men could guard him or go score-for-score with him offensively.
“I thought Tyler Cook was the difference,” Turgeon said. “Bohannon made shots but Cook just dominated the game.”
Freshman guard Kevin Huerter (13 points, five assists and four rebounds) paced the Terps offensively. However, Maryland struggled against the tough Iowa zone defense and couldn’t match the Hawkeyes’ three point shooting, as they shot 32.4 percent (11-34) from deep.
Turgeon took the blame for Maryland’s woes against the zone, but chalked it up to missing “good looks” and offensive rebounding.
“We prepared for it and we did great in practice, but we just couldn’t make any shots,” senior center Damonte Dodd (six points, six rebounds and five blocks) said. “That’s just how it’s been these last couple of games, we just haven’t been making any shots.”
Iowa also won the turnover battle, turning the ball over 11 times compared to 14 for the Terps, and scored more points off their opponent’s turnovers, 22, than Maryland’s 11.
Turgeon said his team lacked confidence and toughness against Iowa.
“That’s what made us 22-4, our toughness; our mental and physical toughness,” he said. “For some reason in the last few games we haven’t been.”
Huerter agreed that their confidence was down on the court, but added, “that’s what happens after losing three games. I think we’re still a hungry team.”
Maryland has lost three straight games and in the process lost center Michal Cekovsky to a season-ending ankle injury, but the players aren’t losing sight of the big picture.
“We still have a great record and we still have a lot of basketball ahead of us and a lot to play for,” Dodd said. “Things happen, you win some and you lose some, you just have to come back and be ready to play.”
Huerter echoed Dodd’s sentiments and said that older players like junior guards Melo Trimble and Jared Nickens spoke to the team in the locker room about how they’d been through similar adversity before and bounced back.
“We’re going to try and do the same thing,” Huerter said.