By DARREN MILLER
COLLEGE PARK, Md.– No. 3 Maryland shot 60 percent from the field and defeated the University of Iowa women’s basketball team, 100-81, on Sunday in front of 7,988 at the XFINITY Center.
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder was keeping an evaluating eye on three areas: outside shooting, ball possession, and boxing out. Despite the final score, she couldn’t be too disappointed. The Hawkeyes made 9-of-23 from 3-point range, committed 15 turnovers, and allowed 12 offensive rebounds — all upgrades from when the Terrapins prevailed, 98-82, on Jan. 14 in Iowa City. In the first meeting, Iowa made eight 3-point field goals, turned the ball over 16 times, and surrendered 20 offensive rebounds.
Maryland improved to 21-1 overall, 9-0 in the Big Ten; Iowa is 13-8, 4-4.
Freshman Kathleen Doyle led five Hawkeyes in double figures with a career-high 21 points, 14 coming in the first half. She also handed out five assists with three steals and just one turnover.
“Kathleen had a great game,” Bluder said. “She played with defensive intensity and moxie; I really love the way she played.”
Senior Ally Disterhoft added 16 points and four rebounds, sophomore Tania Davis scored 13 points with six assists, freshman Makenzie Meyer had 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, and sophomoree center Megan Gustafson contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Disterhoft converted a conventional 3-point play that tied the score at 30 with 6:58 left in the second quarter, but Maryland finished the half on a 26-6 run to take a 56-36 lead into the locker room.
“You can’t have any lapses against them because they will exploit it and that’s what we had,” Bluder said. “Maryland will pounce when you do and they did.”
The Terrapins entered the game leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage (50.5) and exceeded that by making 39-of-65 field goals Sunday. Maryland scored 56 points in the paint.
“We have to work on our post defense after giving up that many paint points,” Bluder said. “We have to work on defense this week.”
Center Brionna Jones made 12-of-13 field goals and led the Terrapins in scoring with 28 points.
The Hawkeyes shot a respectable 46 percent from the field (29-of-63) with Doyle leading the way with an 8-for-12 effort (she was 3-of-4 from distance).
“We would take those 2-point (20-of-40) and 3-point (9-of-23) shooting numbers any night,” Bluder said. “We would probably take 15 turnovers, five in the second half, any night. But we can’t give up 56 paint points and (Maryland) shot the ball too well.”
Iowa closed the month of January with a 3-3 record. The Hawkeyes host Rutgers on Thursday with a 7 p.m. (CT) tip on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won the first meeting, 71-59, in Piscataway, New Jersey.
“We have to be ready for their press, it’s something Rutgers hangs it hat on,” Bluder said. “We also have to be prepared to score against their zone.”
The Scarlet Knights (6-16, 3-6) lost at home to Northwestern on Sunday, 55-37.