Garz-ill-a rampages through College Park as Iowa wins 89-67
Maryland could not escape the talons of the Hawkeyes tonight as #5 Iowa won 89 – 67 at Xfinity Center. Luka Garza stretched his wingspan and terrorized the Terrapins throughout the barrage as the Terps losing streak extends to three games. After an early ten point lead within five minutes from the opening tip, Maryland found themselves free falling until the final buzzer released them from Naismith candidate Luka Garza’s grasp.
Iowa alternately improved its record to 10-3 and 4-1 in the Big 10. Garza finished the contest with twenty four points and seven rebounds while teammate Jordan Bohannon would add another eighteen and four.
Before the opening tip-off, all ten starting players took a knee as a sign of unity against the violence that happened just miles from the Xfinity Center at our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C.
After the tip, Hakim Hart would open the game by pumping in a corner three. On the other end Luka Garza is smothered by all five Terrapin starters as he approaches the rim and is forced to move the ball outside the paint where Iowa misses on the open look.
Eric Ayala then delivered a three of his own against the sleeping Iowa defense which leads head coach Fran McCaffery to spend his first timeout, in which he eviscerated his team’s effort on the defensive end.
Maryland would continue to push the pace that beleaguered Iowa into mid-range jumpers. Maryland would find themselves up 19-9 through the first eight minutes of the game. Mark Turgeon brought in Darryl Morsell, donning a new facemask seemingly borrowed from former Piston Rip Hamilton for his first minutes since a facial fracture two games ago. He seems unphased on the defensive end constantly jumping double teams down low and forcing the ball back to the perimeter but is noticeably uncomfortable with the basketball in his hands. Before the game he mentioned that he was having trouble with his vision and it showed as he struggled keeping grips on the ball.
As the games continues, Maryland falls into a familiar blur on offense in which the substitutions by Maryland backfires in a devastating fashion. The early rhythm seemed to dissipate in a matter of a possession as the bench looked dysfunctional turning the ball over on consecutive possessions. As the starters returned, they could not find their early confidence and Iowa would show why they are considered a top team in the country going on a 20-0 run while Maryland went seven minutes without a point when Donta Scott ended the offensive suffering by delivering a jump shot from beyond the arc.
Thanks to the hot start, Maryland would find themselves still in a game down 29-22 with three minutes to play in the first half. Luka Garza would continue to stomp his way through double teams and find himself getting fouled on consecutive possessions. Not only was Garza delivering from all over the court, but Keegan Murray would define the first half dominance by soaring over the Maryland defense to slam home a one-handed dunk.
The Iowa defense would have no mercy on Maryland. Any attempt to function near the paint was intercepted creating turnovers at nauseum for Mark Turgeon’s bunch. Over the final twelve minutes, Clint Barnes was a less accurate Hawkeye as Iowa seemed to score on every possession totaling 35 points. When halftime arrived, the onslaught of an opening half showed the Terps down 44 – 26.
Maryland would return from the locker room and look to the hot hand of Aaron Wiggins who quietly was having a career game in the first half. Wiggins would score the first ten points of the second half for Maryland in a desperation attempt to keep his team within striking distance. The Maryland defense would attempt to mimic their early efforts against Garza, however the Hawkeyes would whiffle in and out of the Terrapin zone and continue to stalk easy baskets against the baffled Maryland prey.
Mark Turgeon would continue to look to his bench for answers, but Iowa would put on a clinic against any on comers who dared to step on the floor. While there was still 11:50 left on the clock, the game felt like it was over after another Hawkeye dunk slammed against the paint under the rim.
The final buzzer sounds, and Maryland loses 89-67 in what was easily their worst game of the season.
Mark Turgeon and his Terrapins will need to find answers if they hope to maintain any hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament. The Big 10 gauntlet does not get any easier as they travel to #12 Illinois this Sunday at 8:00 p.m.