IOWA CITY — Again?
Not again. Maybe basketball’s law of averages wouldn’t stand for three straight final-second wins.
For the first time in its last three games, there were no last-possession, last-shot, last-second heroics for the Iowa men’s basketball team. It missed two shots in the final seconds and lost to No. 25 Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 66-65.
The 17th-ranked Hawkeyes (20-6) had a four-game winning streak halted and slipped to 9-6 and sixth-place in the Big Ten. Maryland is 11-5 in the league, 20-7 overall.
Bruno Fernando scored on a tip-in with 7.8 seconds left to give the Terps the 66-65 lead. Following a timeout, Jordan Bohannon missed a 3-pointer for Iowa after dribbling downcourt.
“He has made incredible shots, and you hoped the luck ran out,” Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said. “I wouldn’t call it luck, actually, because he’s a big-time shooter.”
“I thought I got fouled on the play,” Bohannon said. “We had two shots at it and it didn’t go in. I thought Isaiah got fouled, too.”
Teammate Isaiah Moss rebounded Bohannon’s shot, but missed a 2-point jumper outside the paint, and that was that.
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“I thought it was going in,” Turgeon said, “but it bounced our way tonight.”
“It felt good coming off my hand,” Moss said. “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
“I was telling the guys in the locker room I forgot the chances of making game-winning shots at the buzzer isn’t super-high,” said Iowa’s Tyler Cook, referring to the Hawkeyes getting last-second 3-pointers for victories in their previous two games, against Northwestern and Rutgers.
Iowa had trailed 57-46 with six minutes left, but clawed all the way back for a 61-60 lead with 2:37 left on a Nicholas Baer 3-pointer.
Five lead-changes later, Maryland had the winning points.
After a first half with eight lead-changes, the Terrapins quickly built on their 27-23 halftime edge. They scored the first four points of the half, and rolled to a 42-30 lead with 13:41 left. Iowa made just two baskets in that time.
At one point in the game, the Hawkeyes had 13 turnovers and just 11 field goals.
The aforementioned Baer 3-pointer got the 11,966 fans louder than they were all night, and things were even more interesting the rest of the way. Bohannon made two foul shots with 18.8 seconds left for a 65-64 Iowa edge, but the Terrapins weren’t done.
Cowan drove the lane and missed, but Fernando tapped the ball in the hoop off his 11th rebound.
The first half, which ended with Maryland up 27-23, was polar.
The Terrapins shot 30.8 percent in the half, the Hawkeyes 29.6. Maryland, which didn’t have a basket until 6:40 of the game elapsed, did can six 3-pointers from the 7:25 to the 2:21 marks of the half. Junior guard Cowan made three of them.
The Hawkeyes’ Joe Wieskamp picked up his second foul with 14:04 left in the half and didn’t play again until the second half. The hero of last Saturday’s win at Rutgers never got going, missing all five of his field goal tries and scoring but two points.
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Fernando got his second foul with 8:14 left in the half and watched the rest of the half from the sideline. He was a force, however. His 6-foot-10 presence helped negate Iowa big men Cook and Luka Garza, who had 6 and 5 points, respectively.
Cook got just four field goal tries in 37 minutes.
Cowan’s 17 points was the game-high. Bohannon had 14 and Moss 12 to lead Iowa. Moss also had 10 rebounds, matching his career-high. Iowa outboarded the Big Ten’s No 1 team in rebounding margin, 40-34. But it didn’t cash in on enough of its 18 offensive rebounds.
Maryland had 17 turnovers to Iowa’s 14, but the Terps scored 20 points off turnovers to the Hawkeyes’ 8.
Iowa shot a season-worst 32.76 percent from the field (19 of 58) and made just 8 of 26 three-pointers. Maryland was 12-of-28 in threes, and that was the difference.
“Struggled offensively, give (Maryland) credit for that,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “We didn’t make shots we normally make in the first half.
“Shots that normally go in by good shooters weren’t going in.”
Iowa’s next game is here Friday at 8:15 p.m. against Indiana.