Maryland women’s basketball was handed a loss by No. 3 Iowa at home Saturday night, 93-85. Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark had 38 points in the primetime matchup.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
Iowa’s offense was too much to handle
The Terps came into the matchup having lost three straight. It was a perfect opportunity for the top scoring offense in the country to take advantage.
Iowa’s explosive scoring powered it the rest of the way. In the first half, Clark helped the Hawkeyes shoot the lights out. Her squad shot 55% from the floor and 50% from three in the first two quarters.
“We wanted to make [Clark’s] shots difficult, but we also wanted to kind of keep everybody else down below their average,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.
Although Maryland put pressure on the Hawkeyes in the third quarter, Iowa’s passing made a difference. The Hawkeyes finished the game with 25 assists, and Clark found quite a few teammates on backdoor cuts to the rim.
Sellers didn’t look 100% in her return
Many were excited to see junior Shyanne Sellers back in Maryland’s lineup after a brief absence. However, in her first few minutes out on the court, the All-Big Ten guard immediately didn’t look much like herself.
When she was running the offense, the bulky brace on her knee seemed to restrict her from playing at full speed. She only attempted five shots in the first half, appearing quite passive despite being the team’s leading scorer this season.
But as the game went on, she become more aggressive. Sellers would end up with 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds — a key piece in the second half.
The Terps need Sellers back at peak readiness as soon as possible if they are plan on making the NCAA Tournament in March.
“The knee feels like it needs ice,” Sellers said after the game.
The Hawkeyes were active on the boards
Maryland’s presence on the glass and inside has been a problem all season. The Terps rank 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and give up the third-most rebounds to opponents in the league.
Meanwhile, Iowa has been an excellent rebounding team all season, with the Hawkeyes’ 41.9 rebounds per game tied for the most in the Big Ten. Saturday night, the away team took it to Maryland on the boards to get the result it wanted.
The first half saw a huge discrepancy on the glass, with Iowa out-rebounding the Terps, 23-16. This helped the Hawkeyes get into a rhythm and was a big factor behind the team’s nine second-chance buckets in the first half.
“I think out of the zone [defense] it was just difficult to find a body,” Sellers said. “We kept running inside the paint and they were taking long shots, so they just kept flying over our head.”
Down the stretch, Iowa was sticking on the offensive glass, and its second-chance opportunities hurt the Terps’ comeback attempt. The Hawkeyes snagged 17 offensive rebounds to Maryland’s seven and won the overall rebounding battle, 48-32.