Maryland basketball ran away from Iowa late Sunday night, eventually beating the Hawkeyes by 18 points. None were more exciting, though, than four from freshman Bruno Fernando in a 45-second span in the game’s final four minutes.
With Iowa in a zone defense, Kevin Huerter slashed past his man and to the basket, drawing Fernando’s man toward him in help defense. Huerter caught a pass from Darryl Morsell and quickly lobbed the ball over the defender to a soaring Fernando, who emphatically threw it down with two hands.
For some context, this was the previous possession, which I didn't even tweet because it hardly compares to the one-hander pic.twitter.com/CtuBcn7OvF— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) January 8, 2018
On a normal night, it would have been the most energizing and exciting play of the game, but Thursday night was not a normal night, and the next possession hadn’t happened yet.
With less than three minutes left and an 11-point lead, the Terps were dangerously close to putting the game out of reach for the Hawkeyes. When Anthony Cowan threw a lob from just beyond the three-point arc, Fernando ensured there would be no comeback as he reached behind his head with his right hand, caught the ball and threw it down with the burning intensity of a thousand suns over Iowa forward Nicholas Baer.
Honestly it was only a matter of time before Bruno Fernando ended somebody like this #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/Gf5H7pveQ1— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) January 8, 2018
The freshman has been close to pulling something like this off multiple times this season, but has never managed to put the ball through the rim. Tonight was different. Fernando slammed that ball home and with it sent an entire arena into a frenzy.
“He is a versatile guy. He’s bouncy, he’s physical and he’s strong,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, who was ejected in the first half, said after the game. “He has some offensive skill, but the thing I like about him is he plays really hard; he really competes.”
By the way if you were wondering how Bruno Fernando got that high up, he doesn't know either. pic.twitter.com/PTHgbNeBcP— The Eagles should sign Colin Kaepernick (@im_lamar) January 8, 2018
“I don’t know. I don’t even know how I got that ball. I just jumped,” Fernando said.
The Terps needed a win Sunday night, and they likely would have gotten one even without this dunk, but it was the exclamation mark on an all-around exciting evening at the Xfinity Center.