By Gill Vesely
The eighth-ranked Maryland Terrapins knocked off the third-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes 74-68 Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd in College Park, and in so doing got back into the win column after a loss to Michigan State on Saturday.
“We beat a really, really good team,” Terrapins head coach Mark Turgeon said after the win. “It wasn’t easy for us, but we got it done.” Indeed, the game was close for nearly its entirety. Maryland’s largest lead, eight points, came in the first half. Though Iowa only led the Terps for 1:47, the two teams seemed to trade baskets throughout much of the second half.
The Terps looked to a diverse offensive attack to keep up with the Hawkeyes. Maryland had 10 fast break points to Iowa’s two, and four Terps finished with double figures in the scoring column. As a team, Maryland shot 44.8 percent from the field, including 54.8 percent in the first half.
“They have a lot of weapons,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of the Terps. “They can go inside, they can take you off the dribble, they can score in transition, [and] they’ve got good three point shooters.”
The Hawkeyes’ Jarrod Uthoff, who averages 18.9 points per game, received special attention from the Maryland defense, especially in the first half. He finished with nine points on 2-of-13 shooting after going 0-for-5 in the opening period. Iowa was unable to get a shot off in the final possession of the first half – one that lasted about 26 seconds – due to Maryland’s stifling defense.
“We just never gave up defensively,” Turgeon said. “Really proud of our group.”
Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon led the way for the Terps on the offensive end, finishing with 17 points apiece. Jake Layman and Melo Trimble pitched in 11 points apiece.
“It was a big win,” Sulaimon said. “It was two top teams going at it in a big conference match-up. Iowa’s a heck of a team and we knew we were going to have to play pretty much our best to have a chance to beat them.”
With about 2:47 remaining in the second half, Iowa’s 7-foot-1 center, Adam Woodbury, fouled out with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 10 rebounds. About a minute later, one of the Terps’ big men, the 6-foot-9 Carter, also fouled out. The score read 62-60, Terps. In those final moments, both teams put significant points on the board. Three baskets from Iowa’s Mike Gesell (12 points) in the game’s waning seconds kept the Hawkeyes within striking distance, but key free throws from the Terps, including five from Trimble with fewer than 20 seconds remaining, put the game away for good.
“We were all on the same page today,” Sulaimon said. “I think that’s one of the major reasons why we won.”
The Terps will look to carry their momentum into Ohio when they take on Ohio State Sunday, Jan. 31.