IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa Hawkeyes were down to eight scholarship players and still outplayed No. 12 Maryland.
Joe Wieskamp scored 26 points and Big Ten scoring leader Luka Garza had 21 as Iowa beat Maryland 67-49 Friday night. Garza added 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
“We realized we had a decision to make,” Wieskamp said. “A lot of people are counting us out, realizing we’re missing some of our best players. We could either fold, listen to that, not compete as hard as we could, or band together and just focus on the seven, eight guys we have playing.”
Wieskamp and Garza had 32 of Iowa’s 38 first-half points. The Hawkeyes (11-5, 2-3 Big Ten) got more balanced scoring in the second half, leading by as many as 22 points.
“We have a lot of good players left,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “The guys that come in have the ability to compete and play mistake-free basketball.”
The Terrapins (13-3, 3-2) were held to their second-lowest point total of the season. Jalen Smith scored 13 to lead Maryland.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he tried everything and was left confused by the loss.
“We didn’t look like us,” Turgeon said. “I mean, I’m looking out there, ‘Who are those guys out there tonight?’ We tried to fix it. We could never fix it.”
Turgeon used 11 players in the first half, trying to find a solution after an early lead got away from the Terrapins.
“We were bad,” Turgeon said. “We were bad. We stunk. I’ve been doing this a long time, and that ranks up there as one of the worst one of my teams have played.
“We did good-cop-bad-cop. We tried everything. We couldn’t get them motivated.”
The Hawkeyes made 9 of 23 3-point shots after making only 4 of 33 in a 79-76 loss at Nebraska on Tuesday night. Wieskamp made 5 of 9 3-pointers, including 4 of 5 in the first half, after making only 1 of 10 on Tuesday.
Iowa ended a two-game losing streak while Maryland had its three-game winning streak snapped.
A 14-0 run in the first half put the Hawkeyes in control after they trailed 15-10 in the first eight minutes.
“It just wasn’t our night,” Turgeon said. “We were up 8-5, or whatever it was, and we were stinking it up.”
Maryland was held to 32.7% shooting, its second-worst effort of the season. Iowa had a 44-32 rebounding edge.
“When we play connected defensively, and when we’re rebounding, not giving them second shots, we can be really good,” Wieskamp said.
Maryland: The Terrapins, coming off a 12-point home win over No. 11 Ohio State, fell out of a tie for second place in the Big Ten. They joined a pack of six other teams with two losses. “It’s a long season,” Turgeon said. “It’s January whatever. This league’s terrific. I just want us to play well, and tonight we didn’t play well.”
Iowa: The Hawkeyes needed a win to keep from sliding deeper in the conference standings. This game began a five-game stretch that includes four at home.
Iowa redshirt freshman guard CJ Fredrick missed his second consecutive game with a stress reaction in his left foot. Fredrick, who has started 13 games this season, is averaging 10.3 points per game and is a 50% 3-point shooter.
Maryland should stay somewhat steady in the rankings, considering the win over the Buckeyes earlier in the week.
Maryland: At Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
Iowa: At Northwestern on Tuesday night.
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