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“We were bad, we stunk”: No. 12 Maryland stumbles at Iowa, 67-49

Maryland guard Darryl Morsell, center, drives to the basket between Iowa's Cordell Pemsl, left, and Luka Garza, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Maryland guard Darryl Morsell, center, drives to the basket between Iowa's Cordell Pemsl, left, and Luka Garza, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Charlie Neibergall / AP)

There was plenty of reason to think No. 12 Maryland could make quick work of Iowa on Friday night.

The threat of the first major snowstorm of the winter kept many fans away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Terps were also the beneficiary of some favorable calls early in the game that sent them to the free throw line, and the undermanned Hawkeyes were turning the ball over at even higher rate than the Terps often do.

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The game was decided pretty much by halftime, but not in Maryland’s favor. Iowa’s scored 14 straight points in a 19-2 run that helped the Hawkeyes open a 14-point halftime lead and cruise to a 67-49 victory. It represented the fewest points the Terps had scored in a league game since joining the Big Ten six seasons ago.

Only a late jumper by sophomore guard Serrel Smith Jr. in the waning seconds prevented a season-low for points as well. It was the largest margin of defeat in a Big Ten game since a 24-point loss to No. 17 Michigan at home on senior day two years ago.

It left Turgeon uncharacteristically unloading on his players.

“We were bad, we stunk,” Turgeon said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and that ranks up there as one of the worst [games] one of my teams has ever played. We tried everything, we couldn’t get them motivated. We came off two really good wins, we played well, I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t expect this. ... Give [Iowa]credit."

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon watches from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon watches from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

If last month’s 52-48 loss at Seton Hall was “rock bottom,” as Turgeon described it that night, the performance against the Hawkeyes was even worse against a team missing several players with injuries and with just two proven scorers in junior center Luka Garza and sophomore wing Joe Wieskamp.

Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Wieskamp, who missed 9 of 10 3-pointers he took in Tuesday’s loss at Nebraska, made four of five in the first half — including one with 2.3 seconds left for 38-24 lead and five of nine for the game to finish with career-high 26 points. He also tied his career high with 11 rebounds.

“It was pretty much our defense,” said sophomore forward Jalen Smith, the only Maryland player to score in double figures with 13 points. “Once they got hot, they didn’t cool down.”

Asked what caused the defense to falter after holding both Indiana and Ohio State under 60 points, senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. said, “I think we let our offense affect our defense a little bit. On the road that can’t happen.”

Maryland shot 17 of 52 overall (32.7%), including 4 of 22 (18.2%) on 3-pointers. But it was some shoddy foul shooting early that might have opened the door for the Hawkeyes. The Terps made just 8 of 16 free throws in the first half (11 of 20 for the game), including 3 of 7 by Cowan. Maryland also committed 17 turnovers, including 12 in the first half.

Asked if Maryland’s early free-throw misses helped the Hawkeyes hang in there after the Terps took a 15-10 lead, Wieskamp said, “It helps for sure, because their lead is not getting as big as it could have at the beginning of the game. But also when they’re missing free throws, I think it’s kind of getting in their head a little bit. They’re a little hesitant when they’re shooting their [outside] shots knowing that those free throws weren’t falling. Kind of like a double bonus for us.”

Turgeon said that this loss was much more upsetting than the previous two, both on the road, at Penn State and Seton Hall.

Guard Darryl Morsell #11 of the Maryland Terrapins drives during the first half between forward Cordell Pemsl #35 and guard Joe Toussaint #1 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on January 10, 2020 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, in Iowa City, Iowa.
Guard Darryl Morsell #11 of the Maryland Terrapins drives during the first half between forward Cordell Pemsl #35 and guard Joe Toussaint #1 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on January 10, 2020 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Matthew Holst / Getty Images)

“The Penn State game we battled. The Seton Hall game we battled. We came back, we battled,” Turgeon said. "Had a chance [against Seton Hall], had the ball. Tonight we never really gave it. Part of the problem is we can’t make a shot. I think we’re shooting 35% in the league, maybe less.

“It’s guys who make shots, guys who know how to make shots. I said it at Christmas, I’ve got to give our guys confidence. I thought I gave it to them. I didn’t see this coming. I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to figure it out. But they’ve got to look in the mirror at some point and be like, ‘I’ve done this before.’”

While not blaming them for the loss, Turgeon pointed to sophomores Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins, who were a combined 0 for 10 from the field and scored just two points in a combined 43 1/2 on a pair of free throws by Ayala.

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“We had two guys who’ve really helped us that didn’t make a shot tonight,” Turgeon said. “They’re really good players for us. ... Eric’s made a lot of big shots for us. Tonight he didn’t. We have some guys that are really good players that just need to act like they’re really good players and play like it.

“Tonight we didn’t, and I can go across the board. ... We didn’t look like us. I’m looking out there, [asking] who are those guys? No matter how hard we tried to fix it, we never fixed it. They made a lot of shots, put daggers in the game and their zone was terrific.”

Wieskamp said that the defense played havoc with Maryland’s head collectively.

“I thought Coach [Fran McCaffery] did a great job of mixing up defenses,” Wieskamp said. “They looked like they weren’t jelling very well offensively, they were kind of forcing some shots. They didn’t look confident. They looked tired. That’s a credit to us, I think we were up in their space pressuring them.”

The Terps will play three of their next four on the road as well, starting Tuesday at Wisconsin.

“I’ve had good road teams since I’ve been here,” Turgeon said. “For some reason this one hasn’t figured it out yet. Tonight was disappointing. We fully expected to win this game. And maybe we got caught up in ourselves. Everybody was bragging about how well we were playing, maybe we got caught up in it.”

Iowa 67, No. 12 Maryland 49

MARYLAND - Cowan 2-10 3-7 9, Morsell 3-9 1-2 7, J.Smith 5-7 3-4 13, Ayala 0-6 2-2 2, Scott 2-7 2-2 7, Wiggins 0-4 0-0 0, S.Smith 2-4 0-2 5, Lindo 2-2 0-0 4, Marial 0-1 0-0 0, Mona 0-0 0-1 0, Tomaic 1-1 0-0 2, Hart 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-52 11-20 49.

IOWA — Wieskamp 9-16 3-3 26, Garza 8-21 4-6 21, C.McCaffery 1-7 0-0 3, Evelyn 1-7 0-0 3, Pemsl 1-3 0-0 3, Kriener 2-2 3-3 7, Toussaint 1-4 2-2 4, Till 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 12-14 67.

Halftime—Iowa 38-24. 3-Point Goals—Maryland 4-22 (Cowan 2-9, S.Smith 1-2, Scott 1-4, Hart 0-1, Morsell 0-1, Wiggins 0-2, Ayala 0-3), Iowa 9-23 (Wieskamp 5-9, Pemsl 1-1, C.McCaffery 1-3, Garza 1-4, Evelyn 1-6). Rebounds—Maryland 31 (Morsell 6), Iowa 41 (Garza 13). Assists—Maryland 11 (Cowan 3), Iowa 16 (Toussaint 5). Total Fouls—Maryland 14, Iowa 15. A—11,721 (15,500).

NO. 12 MARYLAND@WISCONSIN

Tuesday, 9 p.m.

TV: ESPN2 Radio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM

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