Jan. 28, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — No. 7/8 Maryland got the best of the No. 3/4 University of Iowa men’s basketball team, halting the Hawkeyes’ 13-game Big Ten winning streak with a 74-68 victory on Thursday night at the XFINITY Center.
“We fought,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “I don’t think we played as well as we’re capable of, but we have to give Maryland credit for that. We didn’t play our best game and we were still right there with two minutes to go. That says something about the character of our team.”
Iowa trailed 62-60 with the game in the balance when senior Mike Gesell missed the front end of a 1-on-1 with 1:48 remaining. Maryland took advantage, working the ball inside to Diamond Stone out of a timeout to stretch the lead to four and a quick Iowa turnover led to a Terrapin runout and a 66-60 lead with 1:11 to play.
Sophomore Dom Uhl made it a four point game with just under a minute to play, but Maryland closed out the game at the free line, making 8-of-12 free throws down the stretch.
“It was a good, tough game,” said junior Peter Jok. “They came ready to play. We don’t feel like we played great tonight, but we hung in there. We have to get back to work tomorrow.”
The Terrapins had a 44.8 percent field goal percentage; Iowa shot 42.9 percent. Maryland made six 3-pointers to Iowa’s 5, but went 0-for-10 in the second half. The difference came at the free throw stripe, where Maryland converted 16-of-23 attempts to the Hawkeyes’ 9-of-15 performance.
Uncharacteristically, Iowa had more turnovers than assists (11 to 9) and was out-rebounded, 38-35. Still, the game was there for the taking despite an off night from senior forward Jarrod Uthoff.
Maryland’s size and length made it a difficult night for Iowa’s All-America candidate. Uthoff didn’t record his first field goal until the 18:12 mark in the second half and finished with nine points on 2-of-13 shooting. He was held in single digits for the first time this season.
“They were physical with him,” said McCaffery. “They have some guys with size and they were locked in as a group.”
The Hawkeyes got production from their other four starters. Jok led the way with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting, Gesell scored 12 points, making 6-of-10 field goals, and senior Adam Woodbury and Anthony Clemmons scored 11 apiece. Woodbury registered his third straight double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds. Uthoff also had 10 boards.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Maryland jumped out to a 17-9 lead early to force a Hawkeye timeout before Iowa stormed back to tie the game at 19. Clemmons had a one-handed flush to cut the deficit to 17-14 and a 3-pointer to tie the game with 9:30 left.
Maryland’s Rasheed Sulaimon answered with a 3-pointer 19 seconds later to put the Terrapins back on top and get himself going. The Duke transfer made all three of his 3-point attempts in the final nine minutes and his jumper with 28 seconds left made the score 41-35 lead at the break.
Both teams cooled off and endured scoring droughts early in the second half. Iowa scored the first seven points of the half, including a layup from Woodbury to cap it off, to take a 42-41 lead with 16:57 to play.
Maryland regained the lead on a Robert Carter field goal — its first of the second half — with 14:10 remaining and pushed its lead to five less than a minute later. With the 3-point shot not falling, the Terrapins worked the ball inside against the Hawkeye zone.
“We could have defended the post better,” said McCaffery. “At times we were good, at times we were not. We could have had more activity in the zone, it worked for a stretch then it got soft and Carter went to work.
“If we could have had more activity that might have worked better for us. In crunch time, we didn’t rebound, even if we did get them to miss.”
Maryland’s success against the zone corresponded with Woodbury being sidelined with foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul with around eight minutes to play before fouling out with 2:47 left.
Carter and Sulaimon paced the Terrapins with 17 points apiece; Melo Trimble and Jake Laymon added 11 points each.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, hosting Northwestern at 2 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court.