Hawkeye magic ends with rough offensive performance against Maryland

A frustrating day of shooting ended Iowa’s four-game winning streak and the magic that came with it.

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Hawkeye magic ends with rough offensive performance against Maryland

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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Iowa basketball hasn’t had much experience playing with frustration as of late. After all, everything had been going the Hawkeyes’ way with buzzer-beaters and 3-pointers in drama-filled wins over the past week.

But that magic was just lost in Iowa’s 66-65 loss to Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye on Tuesday.

Made shots were few and far between in the first half, but turnovers and bricks were everywhere. The magic almost made a return to Iowa City, but the frustration won out.

“I was telling the guys in the locker room, I forgot that the chances of us making game-winning shots at the buzzer isn’t super high,” forward Tyler Cook said. “After the last few games, we think it is.”

The worst part for Iowa is that things easily could have ended with different results. The Hawkeyes held Maryland to just 1-of-12 shooting to start the game and went into halftime trailing by only 4 points. Throw in a 19-9 run, and Iowa was one shot away from pulling a classic Iowa ending.

David Harmantas
Iowa forward Tyler Cook (25) looks back as he loses control of the ball during a basketball game against Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. The Terrapins defeated the Hawkeyes 66-65.

“Iowa missed about 7 wide-open 3s for us,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “It could have been a 10-point game, their lead at halftime, but they missed some shots for us, which really helped.”

The Hawkeyes couldn’t get any help before the final six minutes. Ryan Kriener’s dunk epitomized that fact. A no-call on a Joe Wieskamp airball made it more clear. And seemingly every time the Hawkeyes hit a 3 to try to claw their way back, the Terrapins responded with a shot of their own.

Talk about difficult.

“It’s just frustrating in general; we missed the opportunity tonight,” forward Luka Garza said. “You miss free throws, miss easy shots. As a team, you look back at it, and you lose by one. I missed a front end, somebody else missed a front end, missed a layup. That’s not what the game came down to, but at the same time, they’re just things you think about.”

The Hawkeyes just couldn’t reach their full offensive potential at any point in the game. Iowa made just 2 shots from beyond the arc in the first half, before raising that mark to a more respectable 8 by the end of the second half, mostly as part of the attempted comeback.

Jordan Bohannon made just 2 shots, Joe Wieskamp didn’t hit a field goal, Isaiah Moss finished 4-of-14, and Garza went 1-of-7.

Despite the struggles, Iowa, for the most part, seemed just about as upbeat as a team could possibly be after a crushing and heartbreaking loss filled with frustration on the floor.

After all, the Hawkeyes didn’t necessarily suffer a bad loss. There are worse things than a 1-point loss to a ranked team. Even on what was a bad offensive showing, Iowa hung around and almost pulled out another crazy comeback.

“In a game like this, when it’s a struggle offensively, you just want to hang in there and give yourself a chance, and that’s what we did,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said.