Feb. 8, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team led from start-to-finish, handling No. 17 Maryland, 71-55, on Sunday afternoon on Mediacom Court. The victory was the program’s 1,000 all-time in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes held a double-digit lead for nearly 27 minutes and led by as many as 25 points early in the second half. Iowa shot above 60 percent for the second-straight game, had a 38-18 advantage in paint points, and was plus-11 on the glass.
“We knew we had to get a big one at home,” said senior Aaron White. “It’s a little extra special when there is a little number next to their name like they had. We’ve let some slip away at home, and this was big for us to get this one, not only in the standings, but to play well and keep it rolling.”
Three Iowa players reached double figures with White leading the way with 17 points and eight rebounds. He made 5-of-11 field goals and went 7-of-10 from the free throw line to move past Matt Gatens into seventh place on Iowa’s career scoring list with 1,647 points.
Junior Adam Woodbury and sophomore Peter Jok matched career-highs. Woodbury scored 16 points, making 6-of-7 field goals and pulling in five rebounds, while Jok netted 15 points on a 6-for-8 effort from the floor with three 3-pointers. Junior Mike Gesell finished with eight points to go along with a career-high nine assists.
The Hawkeyes shot 60.9 percent in the first half, 68.4 percent in the second half to post a 64.3 field goal percentage (27-of-42) for the game. Maryland started the game 2-for-12 and shot 24 percent in the opening half; the Terrapins finished at 36.7 percent (18-of-49). Iowa went 5-for-11 from 3-point range; the Terrapins were 7-for-23. Iowa shared the ball beautifully, dishing out 18 assists on its 27 field goals.
“The past two games have been a selfless effort and a unit out on the floor,” said White. “We’re playing for each other and are committed to each other and that’s why we’re playing so well the past two games. We have to keep that rolling and keep winning.”
Iowa’s defense was its calling card early, as the Hawkeyes limited Maryland to one field goal and forced nine turnovers over the first 12 minutes. Iowa scored the game’s first seven points before Melo Trimble got the Terrapins on the scoreboard five minutes in — that was Maryland’s only field goal over the first 11 1/2 minutes.
“It all started with our defense,” said White. “We were moving the ball and it seemed like everybody was scoring. That might be the best we’ve played as a unit since I’ve been here.
“We were working defensively. Everything you need to do well, we were doing well, and that’s why the score indicated that, and we were able to get a big win.”
The Hawkeyes reeled off 15-of-16 points during the seven-minute stretch, turning a 7-2 lead into a 22-3 advantage. Senior Gabriel Olaseni opened the run with a three-point play before junior Jarrod Uthoff drained a 3-pointer to make the score 13-2. A Jok 3-pointer pushed the lead to 20-3 at the 9:18 mark, and Gesell’s layup on a goal tend extended the lead to 22-3.
“They shot 24 percent in the first half; this is a terrific team,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “We got into them and mixed our defenses a little bit, and they never got comfortable shooting the 3 until the second half.”
Trimble got Maryland going, scoring seven-straight points to cut the deficit to 24-12. The Hawkeyes scored 16 of the final 21 points to take a 40-17 lead into the locker room. White scored seven points during the stretch.
Iowa pushed its lead to a game-high 25 points (42-17) on a Woodbury hook shot on the first possession of the second half. After making six field goals in the entire first half, Maryland started connecting in half two.
The Terrapins made four 3-pointers over the first seven minutes and used a four-point play from Dion Wiley and a Jon Graham jumper cut the deficit to 53-38 with 12:24 remaining. After Maryland’s bench was whistled for a technical foul at the 10-minute mark, Iowa reeled off four-straight to push its lead back to 19.
Iowa (15-8, 6-4) returns to action Thursday, hosting Minnesota at 6 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court. The Hawkeyes beat the Gophers, 77-75, on Jan. 13 in Minneapolis.