Maryland women's basketball picked up a 75-55 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes Friday afternoon. The win advances the top-seeded Terps into the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, of which they are the defending champion.
Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the way for Maryland once again with 23 points apiece. The former added 15 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks, while the latter recorded 8 boards, 4 steals, 3 blocks and 2 assists. Junior Ally Disterhoft led the ninth-seeded Hawkeyes with 16 points.
Two stretches of dominance won this game for Maryland: a 21-4 run across the entire second quarter, and a 16-2 run in the last seven minutes.
Iowa stormed out to a 28-18 lead after the first quarter. The game at a very quick pace, and both teams quickly settled into an offensive rhythm, but the Hawkeyes absolutely caught fire three minutes in. They drained eight consecutive field goals over a six-minute stretch and closed the period on an 18-6 run. Ally Disterhoft was 4-of-4 from the field for 10 points in the quarter.
The tides turned dramatically at the onset of the second. Maryland went on a 12-0 run in the first five minutes of the quarter to surge into the lead. The Hawkeyes missed their first six shots of the period after sinking 10 of the last 11 in the first. Megan Gustafson ended the drought with a hook shot at the 4:26 mark, which knotted the game back up at 30. But the Terps went on a 9-2 run from that point to close out the half. Behind 9 points from Walker-Kimbrough, Maryland outscored Iowa 21-4 in the second.
Both teams received a visit from the turnover bug in the third quarter, combining for 13 giveaways (Maryland 7, Iowa 6). Maryland maintained and extended its lead thanks to dominance in the post. With Chase Coley and Megan Gustafson in foul trouble, the Terps began to control the offensive glass. The lead reached 57-41, but Iowa scored a couple late baskets to bring it down to 57-47 entering the fourth.
Disterhoft closed the third with her first points in over 20 minutes, and followed up with a three-pointer to open the fourth. After Iowa clawed within 6 points with 6:57 remaining, the Terps responded with a 10-0 run. Iowa couldn't get anything going down the stretch, and by the time Gustafson fouled out, it was all but over. Maryland led 69-53 with a shade over three minutes to go at that point, and the margin reached 20 before it was all said and done.
The Terps' next game will be Saturday at 3 p.m. EST, and they'll play the winner of No. 4 Indiana and No. 12 Northwestern.
Three things to know
1. The first two quarters were like night and say. Maryland trailed by 10 points after one, as the Hawkeyes went 12-of-16 from the field. But in the second quarter, Iowa scored a mere 4 points on 1-of-10 shooting. The Terps also forced 8 turnovers in the second to just 3 in the first. First-half turnarounds have been a trend for Maryland (see: both Wisconsin games), but this was the most dramatic flip of the switch, and it can be attributed to Brenda Frese switching from zone to man defense.
2. Maryland put on a rebounding clinic in the second half. Iowa outrebounded the Terps in the first half, 16-14. But when the final buzzer sounded, Maryland had 42 total rebounds to the Hawkeyes' 25. The team snared a whopping 21 offensive boards.
3. The three-pointer wasn't a big factor. Kristen Confroy was 2-of-5, and the rest of the squad was just 0-of-2. It's the team's second-lowest total this year (1-of-10 against South Dakota State on Nov. 27). Maryland can win games in so many different ways, and they'll be a tough matchup for whoever comes next.