The skies were clear at College Park, Maryland, but, the hardwood of Xfinity Center was whelmed by the downpour of threes. Maryland and Iowa shared the spotlight, briefly.
Then, Jordan Bohannon, who ended with a career-high 10 threes, stole the show with his hot-shooting teammates and dropped the most points Maryland has ever faced in the past 10 years.
In its worst loss of the season and its worst defensive outing in over a decade, Maryland men’s basketball was trounced by Iowa, 110-87, in staggering fashion.
“[Iowa] shot the mess out the ball today,” Fatts Russell said.
For how poorly the contest ended, Maryland began the game performing well.
Maryland buried its first five triples of the night and had clear designs to keep up with Iowa’s top-tier offense.
Donta Scott drained the first three for the Terps to cap off a fastbreak. Hakim Hart hit one from the corner and another in the face of an outstretched hand to give Maryland a lead and the tie, respectively.
After Ayala continued the flow with a three of his own, Xavier Green also joined with a three, his sixth of the season. He came off the bench to score a quick five points in three minutes.
Maryland’s perfect percentage from beyond was great, but Iowa’s shooting was significantly better, even as Maryland shot well above 50% from the field and carried a near-perfect three-point percentage for the entire first half. Of their eight first three-point takes, Maryland only missed twice.
Many of the Terps weren’t playing terribly, like Hart, who started the night with a similarly ideal statline, missing just once on his way to 13 points with three triples and two layups — a huge factor in Maryland’s season-best 41-point opening half.
Hart finished with 19, Russell scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the second half.
But Maryland was merely trying to stay alive. Iowa was looking to run the Terps out of their own building.
By the end of the first half, the Hawkeyes’ Bohannan had 18 with six threes and Keegan Murray comfortably made his way to 16 points in absence of any real interior defense — with little ball-handling and plenty of lobs and entry feeds. Iowa finished with 57 points and a 16-point lead entering the halftime break, and soon boasted a 30-point lead before the midpoint of the second period.
In the second half for Maryland, the three-point shot disappeared, as Maryland missed its first eight, the offensive verve was lacking and Iowa trotted out the same tactics and methods — transition buckets and energetic off-ball movements — that earned them success in the first 20 minutes.
“They were continuing to make shots and we started missing shots,” Manning said.
As the closing half neared the final buzzer, Bohannon turned his six threes into 10. His team ended with 19 triples, the most allowed by Maryland in Xfinity Center history. Murray turned his 16 points to 30. Both Bohannon and Murray ended with 30 points.
“I’ve been around a lot of basketball,” Manning said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone score 30 points on 10 threes.”
Maryland was defeated and had no answers, and Iowa was having its way. The 56% field goal percentage of the first half proved to be unsustainable for the Terps and Maryland saw its splits dip to more frigid, sub-40 percentages.
The Terps fell off fast and the Hawkeyes consequently ran away with their eventual 37-point lead.
Garbage time began early and the Terps were rolling out their reserves before the 10 minute mark of the final half. Iowa then eclipsed the highest opponent scoring mark in Xfinity history (97) well before the two minute warning. The 110 points the Hawkeyes ended with were the third most allowed in Maryland history.
Threes and surefire offense were to blame, and while Maryland showed it for a time, Iowa showed it was several classes above the Terps by carrying it on for a full 40 minutes.
“We gotta find a way. Nobody will feel sorry for you,” Manning said. “This is what competitive Big Ten basketball is like and we gotta find a way. We gotta make sure we get back to work tomorrow.”