KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mark Turgeon gathered his Maryland coaching staff in his hotel room the night before facing Iowa State, and the scouting report he received was so sobering that he offered a solution.
"I said, ‘Should we just forfeit?’" Turgeon recalled.
Good thing nobody took him up on that idea.
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Jared Nickens and Jake Layman scored 15 points apiece to lead a balanced offense, and Maryland shut down the No. 13 Cyclones for a 72-63 victory Tuesday night in the CBE Classic title game.
Dez Wells added 14 points and Melo Trimble scored 11 for the Terrapins (5-0), who built a 15-point lead with three minutes left before hanging on down the stretch.
"I thought we were terrific on defense. I know Iowa State missed some shots they normally make, but I thought our defense was really dialed in," said Turgeon, who improved to 6-0 against the Cyclones, most of those wins coming with then-Big 12 rival Texas A&M.
Bryce Dejean-Jones had 17 points to lead the Cyclones (3-1), who won the Big 12 title in the same building in March. Georges Niang added 10 points, but was 4 of 14 from the floor.
"I can’t remember the last time we shot this bad," Niang said. "I can put a lot of this load on my shoulders, being here three years and knowing how Coach wants us to play."
Maryland carried a 37-34 lead into the break, but that advantage swelled in the second half. The cold-shooting Cyclones missed their first eight field-goal attempts, struggled to get clean looks in the paint and clanked a series of jumpers and 3-pointers off the iron.
By the time Wells scored with 14:37 to go, the Terps had stretched their lead to 43-34.
"Our spacing was just brutal," Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We weren’t getting to the corners on the break — we just weren’t playing for each other tonight."
Niang finally scored Iowa State’s first points of the second half when he got a basket with 14:28 left, but Dion Wiley answered with a 3-pointer at the other end.
Every time the partisan crowd that had made the trek south on Interstate 35 from Ames tried to get Iowa State energized, the Terps were there to quiet them. Wells kept cutting to the rim for easy lay-ins, and Trimble showed once again why he’s one of the top freshmen in the country.
After pouring in 31 points in the Terrapins’ semifinal win over Arizona State, the athletic point guard was 4 of 8 from the floor while doing a better job of getting teammates involved.
"I started both games poised," Trimble said. "This weekend was really good to us."
Not so much for the Cyclones, who allowed frustration to set in.
Dustin Hogue missed an easy layup down the stretch, and then hacked Trimble about 75 feet from the basket. Hogue took a seat on the bench with his fourth foul, and Trimble made both fouls shots to give Maryland a 66-51 lead.
Moments later, Dejean-Jones cross-checked Layman during a fastbreak — the Cyclones guard never even tried swiping at the ball — and was called for a flagrant foul.
"They certainly played like the more poised team," Hoiberg said. "It’s how you respond to adversity and this certainly — a lot hit us tonight. We didn’t respond very well."
Turgeon grew up in Topeka, Kan., and starred for the Jayhawks before making his first big splash as a coach at Wichita State. He has plenty of fond memories of Kansas City, highlighted by the 1988 national title that Kansas won at Kemper Arena. "It’s fun to come home," he said. "Just another great day in my life in Kansas City."
The Cyclones have earned a reputation as a bunch of sharpshooters since Hoiberg took over the program, but they struggled from the arc Tuesday night. Naz Long was 1 for 7 and Niang was 1 for 6 from 3-point range, and Iowa State finished 6 of 27 as a team.
Maryland: Trimble was voted the tournament MVP after his stellar all-around performance. He also had three assists and three rebounds in the title game.
Iowa State: Monte’ Morris, who had 12 assists without a turnover in the semifinals against Alabama, had two assists and one turnover against the Terrapins.
Maryland returns home to face Monmouth on Friday night.
Iowa State is off until Dec. 2, when it plays Lamar at Hilton Coliseum.