Only 5 minutes into the first half, Iowa had already reached tha crossroads of the game (RIP EAZY). They’d turned the ball over 6 times, trailed Maryland 7-5 and looked undisciplined on both sides of the floor. Fran, upset about a touch foul on Bakari Evelyn, was called for his second technical foul in as many games. With that, there was that creeping dread that with the technical foul, it was going to turn into one of those games.
Iowa held steady but Maryland pushed the lead to 15-10. It was that score that sticks in our mind because from there, the Hawkeyes pumped nitro into their veins and went on a 14-0 run. After a Cordell Pemsl three pointer (lol wut?) to take a 18-15 lead, the Hawkeyes never looked back, dominating the Terrapins 67-49. It was the lowest point total by Maryland in conference play during the time they’ve been in the Big Ten.
Joe Wieskamp, who had a woeful outing against Nebraska in Lincoln, bounced back with a dominant performance: 26 points on 9/16 shooting, 5/9 from three, 11 total rebounds, 4 steals and a block. After a game where the Hawkeyes couldn’t buy a three, they went a respectable 9/23 from deep, Wieskamp being your King Beyond the Arc:
Garza was his typical self, putting together his 10th double double of the season: 21 points, 8/21, 13 total rebounds, and 2 blocks. He also activated the Rainbow Shot cheat code from NBA JAM Tournament Edition and made this three:
If you did the math, yes, Wieskamp and Garza accounted for 47 of Iowa’s 67 points and no one else was all that productive. Ryan Kriener was your third leading scorer, shooting a highly efficient 2/2 from the floor and making three free throws, for 7 points. Joe Toussaint, who only had 4 points, did something much more impressive than score and rack up assists:
Connor McCaffrey had 3, Bakari Evelyn had 3 (and a really pretty assist) and Riley Till ruined his TRILLIONAIRE status by taking a shot, notching an assist and committing a personal foul. In all, Iowa played 8 guys, only two scored more than 10 points and four of them played more than 30 minutes. It was a ironman performance from a depleted Hawkeye squad.
The story of the game wasn’t Wieskamp or Garza, though. It was Iowa’s defense and Maryland’s shooting woes. The Terrapins basically had the game that the Hawkeyes had in Lincoln earlier this week. The Terps only shot 32% from the floor on 52 attempts, 4/22 from three and a terrible 55% from the charity stripe. Anthony Cowan, who came into the game averaging almost 17 points and 35% from deep was held to 9 points and shot only 22% from three on a team high nine attempts. Jalen Smith was the only Maryland player in double digits, with 13.
At halftime Chris Mullin questioned the Terrapins effort and hey, that was fair. It was like Iowa took the fight out of the Terps, outrebounding them 44 to 32 and making plays that quite simply, Maryland couldn’t.
It’s not overly dramatic to say that Iowa desperately needed this win. With a loss they would’ve sat at 1-4 before heading to play a lowly Northwestern squad on the road. You say to yourself “They would’ve beaten Northwestern” but man, this is the Big Ten and a depressed team on the road will get jumped before they know it. Instead, Iowa won, is 2-3 and has a tune up against Northwestern before facing three very good teams at home in #19 Michigan, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.
Let’s get it.