Maryland men’s basketball made the most of its pit stop in College Park, getting a 91-73 win over Iowa to move to 3-2 in Big Ten play and keep the Hawkeyes winless in the conference.
It was a close game for a while, but a second-half run saw the Terps go from down three, to up double-digits to seal the win.
Six players finished in double-figures, led by Bruno Fernando with a career-high 21 points, seven rebounds and multiple emphatic jams. Anthony Cowan Jr. was right behind with 15 points, while Darryl Morsell, Michal Cekovsky, Kevin Huerter and Dion Wiley added 14, 13, 12 and 10, respectively.
The Terps started the game looking to get Fernando involved. While he scored Maryland’s first five points, the plan backfired a little, and the Terps went into the under-16 timeout down 15-7. On the flip side, Iowa started strong, with every starter scoring and outrebounding Maryland 6-0 at that first break.
The next four minutes saw the Terps storm back into the game, with the help of Dion Wiley. Wiley came off the bench to provide a much needed spark. He got going off a feed by Fernando, before hitting a couple threes. He’d hit his first four shots and had 10 points before the 10-minute mark of the half, capping a 12-0 run to give the Terps a 29-24 lead.
Iowa ran a full-court press until Maryland broke them out of it. The Terps were able to push the pace, which opened up the court for Michal Cekovsky to get a couple easy lobs, helping him score seven straight points during that run. Cekovsky would finish as Maryland’s leading scorer for the half, with 13 points, and Fernando finished right behind him with 12.
Fernando and Cekovsky also took turns guarding Tyler Cook in the first half, with some success. The two combined to hold Iowa’s leading scorer and rebounder to seven points and just one rebound in the first 20 minutes. More importantly Fernando only picked up a single foul in the half and Cekovsky had none.
Isaiah Moss was the Hawkeyes’ story of the first half. After Maryland stormed ahead, he single-handedly kept Iowa in the first half. He scored a game-high 15 points on 6-of-9, hitting 3-of-4 triples. Right behind him was Jordan Bohannon with 11 points, making 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
After a turnover call he disagreed with, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery turned bright red and stormed the court yelling at the referees. He had to be restrained by another referee and his coaches and was promptly rewarded two technical fouls and an early exit with under a minute left in the half.
First of all, Fran was wrong about this call. At least he was wildly entertaining about it pic.twitter.com/cszWYztXXP— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) January 8, 2018
Anthony Cowan Jr. would make 3-of-4 technical free throws to give Maryland a 48-44 lead at the half. Out of the half, Moss picked up the scoring where he left off, going on a personal 8-0 run and pushing his scoring total to 23 points by the under-16 timeout.
Without McCaffery at the helm, Iowa came out in attack mode. The Hawkeyes took a 54-50 lead, before Cowan and Kevin Huerter combined for five straight, to retake the lead. After that, it was back and forth for a little, until Maryland went on a 19-2 run, keyed by Cowan to put Maryland up 80-66.
A charge on Cook resulted in double-technicals on him and Fernando, but also represented fouls four and five for the Hawkeye. His day was done and essentially so was Iowa.
With the game all but over, Bruno Fernando stole the show by doing this.
Maryland (14-4, 3-2) hits the road for a matchup against Ohio State on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
1. The ejection was amazing. It was peak angry McCaffery. Iowa fought for a while without him, but it’s hard to make adjustments on the fly without a head coach.
FRAN MCCAFFERY HAS LEFT THE BUILDING pic.twitter.com/788402TUIW— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) January 8, 2018
2. Turnovers weren’t an issue. Over the last three games, Maryland’s giveaways are trending down. They forced 17 Hawkeye turnovers while only committing nine of their own. The playmaking of Cowan, Huerter and Morsell has improved since the Terps entered the new year, and Mark Turgeon has to hope his squad keeps it up.
3. Maryland got some significant contributions from role players. Wiley’s points were huge in the first half. Maryland came out flat-footed and was threatening to get run out of its own gym. Wiley took a shot to the head in the second half and didn’t return, so his status is in question going forward. Cekovsky was integral to the first-half run that put the Terps ahead, and Joshua Tomaic provided a quality 11 minutes in relief. Tomaic gave Maryland six points and four rebounds.