College basketball road games are never easy, but they’re also not supposed to be as hard as Maryland men’s basketball has made them look this season. The No. 12 Terps are now 0-3 in other teams’ arenas after a 67-49 embarrassment at Iowa Jan. 10.
This was the first time all season that Maryland had no semblance of a chance down the stretch. The Terps actually led 15-10 early, but Iowa changed the game with a 14-0 run in the middle of the first half and never looked back. The Hawkeyes led, 38-24, at halftime, and Maryland never got closer than 10 in the second half.
It was a complete performance — Maryland was putrid at every part of basketball.
Only Jalen Smith scored in double figures, notching 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The team as a whole shot 17-of-52 for the night, bottoming out at 12-of-43 with five minutes remaining. After never trailing by more than 15 all season, the Terps trailed by as many as 22 in this contest.
Everything had to go wrong, and it did. Let’s just go through the checklist.
Three-point shooting — Nope. Four triples on 22 attempts, a season-worst 18.2 percent. Anthony Cowan Jr. was 2-of-9 from deep. Donta Scott was 1-of-4. Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell combined to go 0-for-6.
Inside shooting — Almost as bad for most of the night. Maryland started 7-of-24 from 2-point range, including a ghastly 5-of-16 on layups. The Terps found some success down the stretch, making five of their last six twos, but that was only to keep the margin within 20.
Free-throw shooting — This was Maryland’s worst performance at the charity stripe all year, as the Terps connected on just 11 of 20 foul shots (8-of-16 in the first half, 3-of-4 after the break). Maryland entered this contest shooting 73.1 percent at the line this season.
Turnovers — Always a staple in Maryland duds. The Terps committed 17 giveaways on this night, 12 of which came in the first half. As usual, they came in all shapes and sizes — bad passes, reckless charges, stepping out of bounds, you name it. Ayala had four turnovers, while Wiggins and Cowan had three each (Wiggins did his damage in just 16 minutes).
Rebounding — Not even close. Iowa won this category, 44-32, easily the Terps’ worst rebounding margin this season (previous low was minus-7 against Temple). When Iowa missed shots, the Hawkeyes grabbed 15 of a possible 38 offensive rebounds. When the Terps missed shots, Iowa won the glass, 29-9.
Defense — This is what keeps Maryland in most games, and it was well short of awful, but it wasn’t good enough to keep the score close. Iowa shot 23-of-61 (37.7 percent) from the floor and 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) from long range. Only Fairfield has shot better on threes against the Terps this year.
Guarding opposing stars — Nope. Iowa essentially needed just two players to win this game. Joe Wieskamp had 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting (5-of-9 from three) with 11 rebounds. Luka Garza, one of the premier big men in the conference, added 21 points and 13 boards for his 10th double-double of the season. When these two left the floor late in regulation, they had combined to outscore the Terps by themselves.
Add it all up, and Mark Turgeon can only say this:
Maryland has another road test coming Jan. 14 at Wisconsin. If the Terps can gather themselves and pull out a win, they’ll be back to two games above .500 in the conference. But as the above checklist shows, there’s absolutely nothing positive to take from this performance.
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