Iowa-Maryland Preview

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — — Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon spent a lot of time praising Minnesota after the Gophers upset his No. 24 Terrapins here on Wednesday night.

“They were terrific,” Turgeon said several times after Minnesota won its sixth straight with an 89-75 victory.

But the sixth-year Maryland coach certainly will be spending a lot of time focusing on his team before the Terrapins host Iowa on Saturday in Big Ten Conference play.

Maryland (22-6, 10-5 Big Ten) has lost two games in a row after it allowed Minnesota to shoot 54.5 percent in the second half and score 55 points after intermission.

The Terrapins were coming off a loss on Sunday at Wisconsin and have now lost four of their last six games.

“We had open 3s and 22 assists on 30 baskets,” said Jaylen Brantley, a junior guard for Maryland. “I feel like there wasn’t a lot of forced shots so those 3s were probably just in the flow of the game.”

The Terrapins will try and get healthy against Iowa, who are 15-13, 7-8.

“We understand who Maryland is. They beat us here (in January). They have tremendous personnel, and a great coach. We were there last year. It is a terrific environment,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said.

The Hawkeyes are coming off a 96-90 overtime win at home Tuesday against Indiana as senior guard Peter Jok had 35 points.

“He is obviously a guy that wants the ball and we want to give him the ball,” McCaffery said after the game.

Jok hit an amazing 22 of 23 free throws. He is averaging 21 points per contest this season. Tyler Cook added 14 points in that game for Iowa.

“I was surprised he missed the one to be honest with you,” McCaffery said of Jok at the line. “He is a shot maker. It is textbook. He was really good. He posted a little bit. He came up top, he was on the wing. He was really, really special tonight.”

Iowa is scoring 80.5 points per game and allowing 78.0. They are getting 38.8 rebounds per contest while allowing 39.5.

“We had some tough losses recently,” McCaffery said. “We are fighting.”

Iowa assistant coach Sherman Dillard is a former Maryland assistant.

Maryland won 84-76 at Iowa on Jan. 19 as junior guard Melo Trimble had 20 points to lead five players in double figures. Trimble leads Maryland in scoring, and the next three top scorers are all freshmen: forward Justin Jackson and guards Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter.

The Terps got a boost Wednesday from reserve forward Ivan Bender, who had a career-high 15 points in 16 minutes as he made seven of 10 shots from the field. He will see more playing time now that junior center Mikal Cekovsky is out for the year with a fractured left ankle.

Jok had 14 points in the earlier game against Maryland as he made just four of 12 shots from the field. Sophomore forward Ahmad Wagner had 12 points in the first meeting against Maryland and freshman guard Jordan Bohannon had 11 for Iowa.

The Terps’ defense will need to tighten up. The 89 points allowed Wednesday was the most given up this season and the most since an 89-81 loss at North Carolina on Dec. 1, 2015.

“We’ve had a heck of a year, but we just didn’t have a great night. We’ve got to figure it out,” Turgeon said. “I love my team. It’s a great group. We’ve got a big game Saturday, a big game. We’ve got to figure it out.”

Maryland will honor its 2001 Final Four team and 2002 national title squad before the game Saturday. The game will be shown on ESPN2 at 6 p.m.