Maryland basketball unable to slow down relentless Iowa offense, falls 81-67

Fresh off a week long break with ample opportunity to rest and a chance to improve to a .500 Big Ten record with a win on Sunday, Maryland basketball fell short at Iowa 81-67. The Terps (11-6, 2-4 Big Ten) have lost five in a row away from home and now have to set their sights on a grueling upcoming five-game stretch to end January.

In a game where Maryland virtually trailed for its entirety, Iowa (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) used a second-half surge to pull away thanks to a career-high 22 points from Tony Perkins and 19 points from leading scorer Kris Murray.

Murray – who scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half – dealt with foul trouble early on and only played eight first half minutes.

Maryland was without the services of forward Patrick Emilien for Sunday’s game, forcing head coach Kevin Willard to use new lineups and monitor the usage of starting center Julian Reese.

Reese – who leads the Big Ten in fouls per game – scored all 10 of his points in the first half and was active early on. Without a true backup, Willard used smaller lineups while Reese sat with foul trouble and integrated a 2-3 zone defense at times. The Hawkeyes feasted on Maryland’s zone defense, leading to open threes and an 18-5 run to extend their first half lead.

A 10-4 run to end the first half led by Jahmir Young helped the Terps trim the halftime deficit to 10.

Young once again led the way offensively for Maryland with 20 points and five rebounds, but his efforts were not enough to slow down Iowa’s relentless offensive attack. The Hawkeyes shot 58% from the field in the first half, their highest in any half in conference play.

Out of halftime, the Terps looked much more engaged as Hakim Hart and Donta Scott hit consecutive threes to cut the Iowa lead down to 43-41. This was the closest Maryland would get all game, as Iowa quickly answered and pushed their lead up to double digits. Maryland never seemed to find its footing after this run and Iowa was able to capitalize and pull away.

Reese picked up his fourth foul with 7:59 left in the game and was forced to sit with Maryland trailing by seven points. With limited bench help, especially in the absence of Emilien, Maryland has been forced to rely on its starters for scoring all season. Sunday was no different, as Maryland starters scored 56 of its 67 points.

Although the Terps were able to go on runs throughout the game to cut into the Iowa lead, the ensuing scoring droughts are what gives the opposing team a chance to throw the knockout punch. This has been a common theme for Maryland in many of its losses.

With the loss, the Terps fall to 0-4 on the road in the Big Ten and continue to struggle away from the Xfinity Center. On the bright side, four of the next five games for Maryland are at home, which could help return some confidence to this team.

Maryland returns home on Thursday in a rematch with Michigan, who dominated the Terps 81-46 on New Years Day in Ann Arbor.

Related Links

Maryland flips OL Corey Bullock from Cincinnati

IMG 7-footer Braden Pierce sets official visit to Maryland

Preview: Maryland looking to maintain momentum on the road vs. Iowa

Where Things Stand: 2024 Recruiting (+)