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Maryland men’s basketball vs. Iowa preview

The Terps take on the Hawkeyes for the second time this season.

Maryland v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

On a three-game skid, Maryland men’s basketball will face off against Iowa on Wednesday for the second time this season.

The Terps’ most recent loss came against Ohio State in double overtime. Maryland led by double-digits in the first half, but Bruce Thronton — who finished with a team-high 24 points — and the Buckeyes battled back and eventually won the game, 79-75, after 50 minutes of action.

With their postseason hopes diminishing, Maryland will return home for Wednesday’s game, which will begin at 8:30 ET and air on Big Ten Network.

What happened last time

Maryland played Iowa for the first time this season on Jan. 24, and it snapped a two-game losing streak with a 69-67 victory.

The Terps trailed by 10 points in the first half and by six with less than four minutes remaining. However, Young scored at will in the final two minutes, shooting 3-for-3 from the field, including the game-winning layup, to will Maryland past the Hawkeyes. Young finished the night with a game-high 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Julian Reese also dominated in the paint, tallying 17 points — shooting 6-of-9 from the field — nine rebounds and five blocks.

The Terps compiled one of their best offensive performances in Big Ten play, shooting 47.1% from the field and 46.7% from three. Meanwhile, Iowa shot 42.1% from the field and just 21.4% from three.

What’s happened since

Maryland is 1-3 in the four games following its first meeting with the Hawkeyes.

The Terps uprooted Nebraska, 73-51, on Jan. 27 in perhaps its most impressive performance of the season. Jamie Kaiser Jr. and Jahari Long shined off the bench, combining for 25 points on 7-for-9 shooting from three.

Following the win, Maryland dropped three consecutive games. The Terps lost to Michigan State, 63-54, for the second time this season on Feb. 3, despite Young’s 31 points. Then on Feb. 6, Maryland narrowly fell to Rutgers, 56-53, after shooting just 31.5% from the field and 11.1% from three. Maryland’s loss to Ohio State on Saturday was its most recent outing, highlighted by a plethora of missed free throws in the clutch.

Iowa is 3-2 since its loss to the Terps.

The Hawkeyes defeated Michigan, 88-78, on Jan. 27 and Ohio State, 79-77, on Feb. 2 — the two worst teams in the Big Ten. They also downed Minnesota, 90-85, on Sunday.

Iowa lost to Indiana, 74-68, on Jan. 30 and Penn State, 89-79, on Feb. 8.

Over the five-game span, Payton Sandfort has led the Hawkeyes with 19.2 points per game.

Three things to watch

1. Young vs. Perkins. Young and Tony Perkins are two of the best point guards in the Big Ten, each leading their team in points and assists per game while corralling more than four rebounds per game. They each scored more than 20 points on Jan. 24, and should be the offensive focal points again.

2. Closing out games. Maryland has been abysmal at closing out games this season, totaling a 1-7 record in one-possession games. Its only win came against the Hawkeyes. The Terps either need to make significant improvements or hold a substantial lead heading into the final minutes.

3. Bounce-back game for Reese. Reese struggled against the Buckeyes. He recorded a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double, but shot 4-of-15 from the field and committed a team-high four turnovers. Reese dominated the Hawkeyes earlier this season and could get back on track Wednesday.