By Johnny Moseman
It hasn’t been a good week at the Xfinity Center.
No. 24 Maryland (22-7, 10-6 Big Ten) lost their second straight home game, 83-69, to Iowa in a game where the Hawkeyes couldn’t miss and the Terrapins couldn’t get anything going.
“We’re just not playing well,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “There is still a lot to play for and some teams go through this late in the year and they can turn it around.”
Maryland has now lost five of their last seven games and Turgeon attributes these recent struggles to his team’s lack of confidence.
“We need a little more positive energy put in our team moving forward,” Turgeon said. “We had a ton of it a week ago. We’re at Wisconsin and we had a ton confidence and three games later we don’t so we have to get that back.”
Maryland kept things close for most of the first half before Iowa opened up a 10 point lead with a minute left in the half. They cut the lead to seven before halftime but the game was never close after that.
Jordan Bohannon was on fire for the Hawkeyes tonight and is the main reason Iowa was able to run away with this game in the second half. Bohannon finished with 24 points, making 8 of his 10 attempted threes.
Iowa also led the second chance points scoring margin 30-6 and that is due in large part to the absence of Michal Cekovsky. Turgeon said this week that his team has to get used to playing without Cekovsky again and today showed that they have not adjusted yet.
Iowa freshman forward Tyler Cook was getting whatever he wanted down low against Ivan Bender and L.G. Gill with Damonte Dodd sitting due to foul trouble. Cook scored 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting and he also grabbed 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
“I thought Tyler Cook was the difference,” Turgeon said. “Bohannon made shots but Cook just dominated the game.”
While Iowa was making most of their shots, Maryland was struggling to get shots off against Iowa’s 2-3 zone. While playing zone it was hard for Maryland to set screens and drive, which is something that has led the Terps throughout the year. Maryland could only shoot threes against the zone and they were not making a lot of them, allowing Iowa to jump out to a huge lead in the second half.
“We prepared for it and we did great against it in practice,” Damonte Dodd said. “But we just didn’t make any shots and that’s just how it’s been these past few games.”
Melo Trimble was mostly ineffective in today’s game even though he still scored 10 points and Maryland looked lost without his normal presence on the court the team is used to. He shot 4 of 13 and didn’t make his first and only three of the night until nine minutes left in the game.
Kevin Huerter led all Terps in scoring with 13 points and fellow freshmen Anthony Cowan and Justin Jackson were close behind with 11 and nine points, respectively.
The largest Terps lead of the night was two and that came after Jared Nickens knocked down the second of back-to-back threes. This gave Maryland a 22-20 lead with 12:16 left in the half. Iowa would knock down a three on their next possession.
Kevin Huerter would then intercept a pass and score a fast-break dunk. Iowa would take the lead back after lay-up from an offensive rebound and they would not give that lead up for the rest of the game.
Jaylen Brantley has been the brightest spot on the Maryland bench this season and he scored 8 points in tonight’s loss.
Maryland has two more chances to get in the win column this season with games at Rutgers and at home against Michigan State next week.