Maryland basketball lost a 15-point lead with five minutes to go, but pulled away late to beat the Iowa Hawkeyes on the road, 84-76.
Maryland looked good once again as it took a double-digit lead into halftime, but that evaporated as the second half went on. The Terps grew sloppy with Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan combining for 12 turnovers, but as usual, Trimble’s late-game heroics saved the day. He hit consecutive threes late to put Maryland ahead again in a lead it wouldn’t lose.
Trimble finished with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds. Justin Jackson was huge with 12 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists.
The Terps went on an unprecedented first-half run, booming offensively for 41 points to Iowa’s 32. Spreading the ball around the perimeter, Maryland connected on 5-of-12 three-pointers. Trimble hit a pair, and Jared Nickens, Jaylen Brantley and Kevin Huerter knocked down one of two at the line.
The ball moved perfectly as Maryland continued to utilize smaller lineups with Michal Cekovsky sitting out yet another game with an ankle injury. The Terps assisted on 14 of their 16 made field goals in the half. Jackson may have made the biggest impact finding the open man with four assists. He also added a block and three steals.
Iowa’s Peter Jok scored 12 points in the opening 20 minutes, but had to work hard to earn it. He made just three of eight attempts from the field, and Maryland used a defender to hedge off high-ball screens and make his life tough on the perimeter. Huerter deserves a heaping of praise for Jok’s struggles.
The second half rolled the same way for the Terps, until it didn’t. Cowan turned on the jets and blew past any Hawkeye defender who dared to play up on him. He finished with 15 points and six assists. That makes three consecutive games in double-digit scoring.
Without its best player, Jok, who went to the locker room with an injury midway through the half, Iowa went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to three with 11 minutes to go. The Terps sloppy handles caught up with them, and Iowa capitalized off turnovers.
The Hawkeyes took their first lead of the game with five minutes to go, as everything the Terrapins had going for them went to waste in another late-game collapse.
Dodd fouled out with less than four minutes to go, complicating Maryland’s already-complicated big man problem. Bender filled in for the closing minutes.
But Trimble did as Trimble does, connecting on consecutive threes to put Maryland ahead again with more than two minutes to go. That lead stuck.
Maryland will play Rutgers at home on Tuesday.
Three things to know
- Maryland jumped out to one of its best offensive starts of the season. The Terps were hot from the start, which almost never happens. Trimble converted on his first two attempts from deep, and Maryland scored 41 first-half points.
- Maryland recovered from a collapse. The Terps lost steam on a 10-0 Iowa run. With Dodd in foul trouble, Maryland struggled to guard on the inside and the Hawkeyes took their first lead with five minutes to go. But, as they usually do, the Terps recovered late.
- Maryland won on the road again. Maryland’s 3-for-3 on the road now, with wins over Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. For a team that starts three freshmen and has been hurt all year, that’s pretty damn good.