Halftime Lead Vanishes as Iowa Falls to No. 3 Maryland

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — On most days, 82 points, eight 3-point field goals, and 47.5-percent shooting results in victory.
But the University of Iowa women’s basketball team wasn’t hosting an average, run-of-the-mill opponent Saturday in front of a season-high 7,043 on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
For just the second time this season, No. 3 Maryland (17-1 overall, 5-0 Big Ten) trailed at halftime before pressing its way to a 98-82 victory. Iowa (11-7, 2-3) is now 11-1 in games it led at halftime.
There were plenty of positives for Iowa, the most significant being a season-high 31 points in the second quarter that put the Hawkeyes ahead 47-43 after trailing by 14 in the first quarter. Iowa shot 63.2 percent from the field and made 5-of-9 from 3-point range in the second quarter and had just one turnover in the quarter and six in the half. Iowa went on a 25-9 run over a span of 8:09 in the second quarter.  
“We played a fabulous second quarter,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We got down big and I’m proud of the team the way they battled back and made it a competitive game. Being up at halftime against Maryland is a good achievement.”
The five 3-pointers in the second quarter were significant since the Hawkeyes entered the game shooting 24 percent from distance in four previous league games.
“The 3-point shot is such a big part of our game now and we want to utilize it,” Bluder said. “I’m glad to see us doing a little better with that.”
For the game, Iowa was 8-of-20 from 3-point range, its best performance since sinking 69 percent and 62 percent in back-to-back games against Northern Iowa and Iowa State in early December.
Iowa sophomore Tania Davis scored 16 points in the first half and shared game-high scoring honors with Maryland’s Brionna Jones with 25 points. It was a career-high in points for Davis.
In the first half, Iowa shot 51 percent from the field (18 of 35) and 46 percent from long range (6 of 13). The Hawkeyes were especially sharp in the second quarter, outscoring Maryland by 15 points.
Davis started the scoring with a layup 17 seconds into the game and totaled nine points in the first quarter. But after her first field goal, the Terrapins scored 15 unanswered points and led 27-16 after 10 minutes. Hawkeye freshman Kathleen Doyle scored five of Iowa’s first seven points and finished the game with a career-high seven assists.
Bluder said pregame that the Hawkeyes needed to play “at least even” with Maryland early and do a decent job boxing out. By the time Iowa called timeout at the 6:46 mark of the first quarter, Maryland had scored 11 unanswered points with three offensive rebounds and four second-chance points.
“We gave up offensive rebounds and not enough offensive rebounds ourselves,” Bluder said.
Maryland out-rebounded the Hawkeyes 44-30 and had twice as many offensive boards (20-10).
Davis brought the Hawkeyes within 31-24 with a high-arcing 3-pointer at the 7:49 mark of the second quarter and on the next possession, senior Ally Disterhoft sank a 3-pointer from the left baseline prompting Maryland to call timeout as its lead shrunk to 31-27.
The Hawkeyes weren’t done doing damage from distance. Back-to-back 3s from freshman Makenzie Meyer and Davis gave Iowa its first lead at 33-32 with 5:04 left in the half. Their sixth 3-pointer of the half — this one by Christina Buttenham — put the Hawkeyes ahead 38-34 and forced another Terrapin timeout.
“We were out of sync and it was uncharacteristic of us because of how we played in the first quarter,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “(Tania) Davis was getting great looks and playing with great confidence in terms of what she was doing. (Iowa) fed off the energy of breaking down our defense and it allowed them to gain confidence.”
The Hawkeyes led by six points at 49-43 when they opened the third quarter with sophomore post Megan Gustafson converting a layup. Gustafson (14 points, seven rebounds) was among four Hawkeyes to score in double figures, joining Disterhoft (18 points, three assists, two steals), and Buttenham (10 points, 4-of-5 field goals). Junior Chase Coley scored seven points (3-of-4 field goals) in 15 minutes.
Disterhoft passed Michelle Edwards and moved into fourth on Iowa’s all-time scoring list with 1,837 points. She is five points from moving ahead of Jaime Printy into third.
Maryland senior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough came off the bench for the first time since her freshman season and scored 22 points with five assists.     
The Hawkeyes return to action Tuesday at Rutgers (6-13, 3-3). The Scarlet Knights rallied in the second half Saturday to defeat Michigan State, 62-58.