The Breakdown: Maryland Keeps Hawkeyes from Another Comeback Win

February 19, 2019

Written by Rob Howe






IOWA CITY, Iowa – For the third game in the row, Iowa played with fire. This time it got burned.

After winning games against Northwestern and Rutgers on three-pointers with less than a second on the clock, the Hawkeyes missed a trey and a two-pointer during the final ticks of Tuesday night’s game here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. A tip-in by Maryland big man Bruno Fernando with :07 left provided in the difference in the Terrapins’ 66-56 victory.

No. 21 Iowa (20-6 overall, 9-6 Big Ten) suffered through a tough shooting night. The Big Ten’s top scoring team managed just 23 first-half points because of 29.6 percent. It finished 19 of 58 (32.8 percent) from the floor for the game.

The Hawkeyes were happy with their shot selection. They just felt like it was one of those nights when they weren’t falling.

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Jordan Bohannon, who hit a game-winning three-pointer against Northwestern two games ago, lined one up from behind the arc with about five seconds left Tuesday. It felt short, but teammate Isaiah Moss grabbed the rebound. His follow-up missed and the comeback from a 12-point, second-half deficit fell short.

Bohannon felt like he was fouled on his attempt. He also thought Moss was fouled on his try.

No. 24 Maryland (20-7, 11-5) won against a ranked team on the road for the first time in 20 tries. Coach Mark Turgeon said after the game that he wasn’t aware of that streak.

The Terrapins geared their defense to slow down Iowa’s inside duo of Tyler Cook and Luka Garza. They combined for just 11 points, about 19 below their average.

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The visitors gave up three-point attempts, and Iowa didn’t take advantage. It shot just 8 of 26 from behind the arc, including 2 of 10 from starters Bohannan and Joe Wieskamp.

Outside of Fernando’s tip-in, the Hawkeyes performed well on the boards. Maryland came into the game leading the Big Ten with a +9.9 rebounding margin, but the home team won that battle on the glass, 40-34.

Turnovers hurt Iowa, particularly the eight it suffered in the first half. For the game, the Terrapins enjoyed a 20-8 advantage in points off of giveaways despite turning it over 17 times to 14 for the Hawkeyes.

“They’re pretty quick. If you turn it over in a live ball situation, they’re going to go,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.

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The Hawkeyes settled for too many three-point attempts (16) in the second half. They could have benefited from going to the basket after entering in the double free-throw bonus early in the second half.

“No, maybe not,” McCaffery said when asked if his team took enough advantage of the double bonus. “It wasn’t like we changed anything. It’s not like we said, okay, we’re going to start shooting jumpers. We wanted to drive and throw it in, wanted to pitch it to the rim. We ran different kinds of actions to get that done. We ran some plays with post-up action.”

Iowa held advantages on points in the paint, second-chance points and bench points. They also held a 19-10 edge in free throws made.

This one really came down to not being able to make shots, and perhaps settling for three-pointers and not being aggressive enough.

The loss dealt a huge blow to the Hawkeyes’ chances for a double bye in next month’s conference tournament. They fell a game and a half behind fourth-place Maryland.

The top four teams receive the double bye. Wisconsin sits in fifth place, one game ahead of Iowa.

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