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Young’s game-winner lifts Maryland men’s basketball over Iowa, 69-67

Behind the heroics of its point guard, Maryland earned a vital road victory.

Maryland v Iowa Photo by Grace Smith/Getty Images

Jahmir Young was once again the hero for Maryland men’s basketball.

With the final seconds of the game clock ticking away, the graduate guard made his move to the left, lifted a floater off the glass and saw it drop down with just 1.5 seconds remaining to seal a 69-67 win at Iowa on Wednesday.

“The shot clock was going down and coach wanted the ball in my hands,” Young said.

Young scored Maryland’s final eight points to ensure it snapped a two-game losing streak and win its first one-possession game of the season; it was 0-5 in such games previously.

“It’s just a good road win. I mean, we’re playing so much better on the road, which is nice,” head coach Kevin Willard said

Entering Wednesday’s contest, Iowa averaged 86.1 points per game. Maryland, meanwhile, surrendered just 63.8 points per game. In the end, it was the Terps’ defense which prevailed, holding Iowa to zero field goals in the final 5:44 of the game to allow Young to take over late.

“I just kept telling these guys like, ‘Hey, guys, we’re the No. 1 defensive team in the conference,” Willard said. “There’s a reason for that. We just got to keep defending and keep getting stops.”

Iowa looked the part throughout, but Maryland showed enough to stay within striking distance. Never able to pull away, the Hawkeyes began to falter in the second half, and with 12:10 remaining, Maryland took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game.

It looked bleak thereafter for the Terps, however, as they scored just two points over the next four minutes and Iowa extended its lead to seven. But late-game execution turned the tide back in Maryland’s favor.

Maryland outscored Iowa 15-6 thereafter, part of a strong second half which saw it score 41 points to the Hawkeyes’ 33.

The early parts of the game showcased Maryland’s grinding style, not Iowa’s high-flying offense. After Donta Scott kicked off the scoring 53 seconds into the contest, Maryland went nearly five minutes without a field goal. It also committed four turnovers in that span.

But Maryland’s defense was able to contain the Hawkeyes’ attack, keeping the deficit manageable despite stagnant offense.

The teams combined for just 10 made field goals in the opening 10 minutes. Iowa went 0-of-7 from deep, negating its 28-14 first-half points in the paint advantage. Meanwhile, the Terps hit four of their seven shots from distance, finishing the game with four more made 3-pointers than the Hawkeyes.

Iowa still managed 34 first-half points, catalyzed by 6-foot-10 freshman Owen Freeman, who made 5-of-6 shots to the tune of 10 points. But Freeman, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, fouled out late in the second half, allowing the Terps — particularly Young — to come up with an important road win.

“We lost a tough one at home, so for us to be able to come in here on the road and steal this one was great for our group,” said Young.

Three things to know

1. Another one-possession game. Terps head coach Kevin Willard said after his team’s most recent loss to Michigan State that the Terps’ 0-5 record in one-possession games was due to a lack of execution and bad play-calling. On Wednesday, the Terps dominated Iowa down the stretch, and a great play in the waning moments allowed them to win a narrow contest.

2. Young showed up late. For over 38 minutes, Young wasn’t his usual self, posting just 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting. But in the final 90 seconds, he took over, nailing back-to-back triples before converting the game-winner.

3. A win of massive implications. Two straight conference losses brought Maryland near the bottom of the Big Ten, but with this victory, it moved near the top half of the league and is now just one game under .500 in conference play.