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Maryland men’s basketball falls short against Iowa, 80-75

Maryland moves to 0-2 in Big Ten play.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With about one minute remaining, Maryland men’s basketball was down by four points to Iowa and the Hawkeyes called a timeout. Neither team had hit a field goal in over three minutes as the teams continued to foul one another as the clock winded down and each team picked up points from the free throw line.

That was until forward Keegan Murray continued doing what he had all night and sank a layup for Iowa to tie his career-high 35 points and extend Iowa’s lead to six. Maryland forward Donta Scott quickly responded and the Terps had 20 seconds to find four points to tie the game.

Iowa hit another free-throw after a foul, and guard Eric Ayala responded with a successful three, his fifth of the day to close the lead to 77-75. The Terps fouled again but Iowa sank the shot, making it a three-point game. Ayala was immediately fouled on his way down the court but missed both shots at the line with four seconds remaining.

Iowa picked up a couple more free throws and although the Terps had the lead at halftime, they slipped in the second half as they were outscored 42-35 and fell to the Hawkeyes, 80-75 in Iowa City on Monday night.

“No moral victories,” interim head coach Danny Manning said. “But there’s some areas where we feel like we get better, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win any game that we play.”

Iowa got off to a quick start hitting its first two attempted shots from the field to get off to a quick 4-0 start but Ayala started the Terps off hot from behind the arc hitting a three.

However, the Hawkeyes continued to drive up the score hitting five of their eight attempted shots from the field to jump out to the early 11-5 lead forcing Maryland to call a timeout less than three minutes into the game.

A player the Terps knew was going to be an impact player for the Hawkeyes coming into this game is the nation’s leading point scorer for Division I men’s basketball averaging 23.7 points per game — forward Keegan Murray.

Out of the timeout, Murray hit his fourth basket of the game, extending Iowa’s 7-0 run. While the Hawkeyes continued hitting their field goals, the Terps couldn't do the same making just one of their last seven heading into the media timeout at what point Iowa had a nine-point lead.

“They came out early in transition, the got some easy baskets. And, you know, it kind of woke us up a little bit,” Ayala said. “You know, we can’t really come out lackadaisical like that, especially a team with that dynamic and transition.”

Out of the timeout, the Terps tried to shift the momentum with a three-point basket from guard Hakim Hart but Murray continued to dominate for the Hawkeyes tallying 12 points with over 12 minutes to go in the first half to bring Iowa’s lead to 12.

With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, Maryland was shooting 38% from the field, including 3-for-5 from deep while Iowa was shooting 67% from the field and also 3-for-5 from deep. Both of Ayala’s baskets at that point came from beyond the arc.

However, out of the media timeout, things began to change for the Terps as they went on an 8-0 run lasting over two minutes to bring the game within four forcing Iowa to call a timeout with eight minutes remaining.

A three from Ayala, a free throw from center Qudus Wahab, a layup from guard Fatts Russell and a steal by Wahab turned into a dunk from Hart to bring the Terps within striking distance.

Out of the timeout, Russell hit a three to close Iowa’s lead to 24-23.

Iowa responded with a layup but Maryland’s accuracy continued as they went on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 26 apiece with about seven and a half minutes remaining. Four seconds later, Murray pulled Iowa ahead by two.

The Terps and Hawkeyes continued to trade baskets until both teams went cold. With three minutes remaining in the first half, neither team had scored in over two minutes with Maryland holding onto a 33-32 lead after a pull-up three-pointer from Russell.

After Russell went up for another three, Wahab grabbed the offensive rebound and walked away with a point after going 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. Moments later, Russell found Wahab under the basket to extend Maryland's lead to four.

Iowa snapped its scoring drought with a three but forward Donta Scott answered with a layup.

To close out the half, the teams continued to trade points but Maryland held onto the lead 40-36 at halftime. This marked the second-most points the Terps scored in the first half this season.

The Terps also were shooting better from all three levels than the Hawkeyes at the half. After 20 minutes, Maryland shot 47% from the field, 42% from deep and 50% from the charity stripe while Iowa shot 44% from the field, 33% from deep and 40% from the free throw line.

“We knew we had another 20 minutes to go,” Russell said. “We told each other that we haven’t finished a whole... 40 minute game yet, just encouraging each other.”

Iowa started the second half with a layup 30 seconds in after Wahab picked up his second foul of the day but Scott respond with a layup and was fouled on the way up sending him to the line. He missed the shot and once again, the Terps and Hawkeyes continued to trade baskets as Iowa hit four consecutive attempted field goals with 17 minutes remaining.

With a little under 16 minutes remaining, a three from Murray tied the game at 47 points apiece.

As the Carver-Hawkeye arena erupted, Russell did not let that stop him. The graduate guard hit a jumper to regain the lead. After Iowa missed an attempt on its end, Russell grabbed the rebound but the Terps could not convert leading to a defensive rebound and layup for guard Joe Toussaint to cut the lead to 51-49.

With about 13 and a half minutes remaining, Iowa once again tied the game.

The Terps moved the ball around the arc looking for the edge. Hart had the ball and passed it into Wahab in the paint who moved around his defender and sank the layup to give Maryland the advantage. But, Murray once again hit a three followed by a layup from guard Tony Perkins to secure the 56-53 lead and force a Maryland timeout.

The Terps continued to be scoreless for over two minutes until guard Xavier Green brought Maryland within one with his first points of the day. Iowa and Maryland continued to trade baskets again until the Hawkeyes snapped a drought to extend its lead to 61-58.

After the Terps attempted to get the offense going on their end, Hart missed back-to-back threes rebounded by Perkins and Murray, respectively leading to two points for the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes continued to remain hot going on a 7-0 run lasting nearly two minutes while the Terps could not get anything going to respond missing their last four shots. Once Iowa secured the 10-point lead, Russell found an answer sinking Maryland’s first points in about three minutes.

Scott hit a three-pointer to bring the game within five but Iowa responded with a layup to keep some distance leading 70-63.

In the final two minutes, Ayala tried to bring his team back, nailing a big three from the top of the key to cut the deficit to four. Thanks to missed free throws from Iowa, Maryland had a chance to complete the comeback. However, the Terps couldn’t capitalize in the final minutes, eventually falling to the Hawkeyes on the road.

“[We] showed some determination to get back into the ball game. But on the flip side, let’s let’s not put ourselves in that situation,” Manning said. “Let’s have a little bit better sense of attention to detail and urgency in our transition points and second chance opportunity points and things of that nature.”

Three things to know

1. Maryland had very spread out scoring despite the loss. Russell hit 12 points after just 17 minutes on the court. He shot 5-for-9 from the field including 2-for-4 from deep, grabbed two boards, dished out two assists and had two turnovers. In the first half, Ayala and Hart put up seven points each while Wahab had six and Reese and Scott tallied four. To finish the game, the Terps had five players, all of which started the game, in double-digit scoring. Ayala led the group with 19 points and Russell finished with the second-most points with 16.

2. The Terps won the rebounding battle. Coming into this game, when the Terps had 13 or more offensive rebounds they were 5-0. Against the Hawkeyes, Maryland pulled in eight offensive boards in the first frame. The Terps won the battle on the glass in the first 20 minutes outrebounding Iowa 22-16. However, with five and a half minutes remaining in the game, both teams had 30 rebounds apiece and 10 offensive ones. Maryland ended up totaling more rebounds than Iowa by the end of the game. It finished with a 38-34 rebounding advantage and it had two more offensive rebounds than the Hawkeyes.

3. Maryland’s Big Ten record drops to 0-2. The Terps dropped their first conference game of the season against Northwestern at home. It was also Maryland’s first matchup with interim head coach Danny Manning at the helm of the program. This time around, the Terps certainly kept it close, but couldn't muster a win in their first true road game. Maryland will have a chance to win its first conference game against Illinois on Jan. 6.