Hawkeyes Handle No. 12/14 Maryland

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Double-doubles from sophomore Joe Wieskamp and junior Luka Garza propelled the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 67-49 victory over No. 12/14 Maryland on Friday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Wieskamp scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season (and third of his career), while Garza scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double.
“We had a decision to make (following Tuesday’s road loss at Nebraska),” said Wieskamp. “A lot of people are counting us out, thinking we’re missing a lot of players.  We can either fold or band together with the guys we have and compete. That’s what we decided to do.”
Wieskamp and Garza combined for 47 of Iowa’s 67 points, making 17-of-37 field goal attempts and grabbing 24 rebounds.  Maryland scored 49 points, the fewest points it has ever scored in a Big Ten game.
The Hawkeyes held the Terrapins to season-lows in 3-point field goal percentage (.182), free throw percentage (.550), and -12 on the glass.  Maryland also had its second-worst field goal percentage (.327) and committed 17 turnovers, the second-most this season.
“We have good defenders — Ryan (Kriener), Cordell (Pemsl), and Luka did a good job when the guards were driving and even the bigs, talling up in the post and forcing them to miss a lot of shots,” said Wieskamp. “The guards were working hard, trying to defend their guards. When we play connected defensively and not give them second-chance opportunities, we can be really good.”
Iowa just 37.7 percentage from the field, but rebounded from Tuesday’s 4-of-33 effort from 3-point range to make nine 3-pointers (in 23 attempts).   
Wieskamp scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half when the Hawkeyes took a 38-24 lead into the break.  Iowa trailed 15-10 at the 11:44 mark before it went on a 19-2 run to open a 29-17 lead.  Senior Cordell Pemsl’s 3-pointer at the 8:47 mark gave Iowa a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Maryland didn’t get any closer than 10 in the second half as the Hawkeyes notched their second victory over a ranked opponent this season.
Wieskamp’s 26 points came on a 9-of-16 night from the floor and he tied a career-high with five 3-pointers.  It is the second time in three games he has made five 3s and his 11 rebounds tied a career-high. Garza went 8-of-21 from the floor and grabbed 13 rebounds, giving him 31 boards in the last two games.
Quoting Head Coach Fran McCaffery
“When you look at this game, the rebounding was critical when you play a team that was plus-8 on the glass. They out-rebound everyone they play. We knew we had to battle them in that area and we out-rebounded them by 12.  That is the one stat that sticks out to me.
“Our defense was one of the keys. Our activity level off the dribble, contesting shots and limiting their second shot opportunities.”
Pemsl for 3?
The Hawkeyes made nine 3-pointers Friday night. Five from Wieskamp and one from Bakari Evelyn, Connor McCaffery, Garza, and…. Pemsl.  It was Pemsl’s first career 3-pointer and his first since his senior year at Dubuque Wahlert High School.
“I heard the place go a little crazy. They weren’t used to seeing stuff like that,” said Pemsl. “I felt confident, caught it in rhythm, and let it go.  It felt good.”
The Hawkeyes played eight players and got contributions from everyone.
“That’s the way it has to be,” said McCaffery. “We have a lot of good players left and some that aren’t available. The guys that come in have to do what they’re capable of doing, compete and play mistake-free basketball.
“To a man, everyone that played was good.”

Of Note

  • Luka Garza posted his 10th double-double of the season and sixth in seven games tonight (21 points, 13 rebounds). Garza is the first Hawkeye with 10 or more double-doubles in a season since Greg Brunner in 2005-06. Garza registered his seventh 20-point/10-rebound game of the season.

Up Next
Iowa returns to action Tuesday at Northwestern. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois.

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