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Maryland women’s basketball game postponed after Iowa declines to travel ‘out of caution’ for inauguration

The No. 7 Maryland women’s basketball team’s home game scheduled for Thursday against Iowa has been postponed.

In a statement, Iowa said it made the decision to not travel to College Park “out of caution due to Wednesday’s inauguration activities in Washington, D.C.,” but did not elaborate. The school said the decision was supported by the Big Ten Conference. No makeup date has been announced.

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Iowa was scheduled to fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Wednesday night. Maryland (11-1, 7-0 Big Ten) will next play at No. 17 Ohio State (7-1, 3-1) on Monday at 7 p.m.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder told reporters Wednesday that “this was my decision, 100%.”

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“Am I being cautious? Yes. I’m paid to play games. I understand that,” Bluder said, according to The Gazette. “I made this decision with the health and safety of my team and staff in mind. I would rather be cautious and safe than careless and regretful.”

Bluder said she was informed that the Hawkeyes’ hotel, located near Washington and Maryland’s campus, was being taken over by the National Guard.

“Taking young women to that area, with thousands of national guards ... As a mom, would I allow my kids to go there? No. As a coach, I made the same decision,” she said.

The decision was made after 12 U.S. National Guard members were removed from securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after vetting by the FBI, including two who made extremist statements in posts or texts about the Wednesday event, Pentagon officials said Tuesday. There were no specific threats to Biden.

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Their removal from the massive security presence at the nation’s capital comes as U.S. defense officials have been worried about a potential insider attack or other threat from service members following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of President Donald Trump. The FBI has been working to vet all 25,000 National Guard in town. Officials have said that the Pentagon has found no intelligence so far that would indicate an insider threat.

Washington has been on edge since the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, which has prompted extraordinary security measures ahead of Biden’s inauguration. A fire in a homeless camp roughly a mile from the Capitol complex prompted a lockdown Monday during a rehearsal for the inauguration.

U.S. Secret Service tightened security in and around the Capitol days earlier than usual in preparation, and the city center is essentially on lockdown with streets blocked, high fencing installed and tens of thousands of troops and law enforcement officers stationed around the area.

Maryland played a home game against Purdue on Jan. 10, four days after the riot at the Capitol. Several Terps players and coaches knelt during the national anthem and the team spoke about the attack before the game.

“As a team and program, it’s disappointing,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said of the attack. “We understand what we saw isn’t what’s representative of our country. From our end, we want to continue to make awareness, especially how united we are and staying united as a country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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