Maryland men’s basketball rallies to beat Iowa, 78-66, ending 3-game skid

COLLEGE PARK — Jahmir Young did not have to rescue Maryland men’s basketball this time against Iowa.

Just 21 days removed from Young’s game-winning layup that lifted the Terps to a two-point win in Iowa City, the Terps avoided another narrow ending by overcoming a 10-point deficit in the second half and holding off the Hawkeyes long enough to emerge with a 78-66 victory Wednesday night before an announced 12,031 at Xfinity Center.

Maryland (14-11, 6-8 Big Ten) ended a three-game losing streak that had been tied for its longest of the season. The team won for the first time this month.

Young, a fifth-year senior point guard, led the Terps with 21 points, three rebounds and two assists in a performance that fell slightly short of matching his 22-point, seven-rebound, four-assist outing in a 69-67 victory over the Hawkeyes on Jan. 24. Unlike that matchup, however, Young — who reached 501 points this season — didn’t need to replicate his heroics because he got plenty of help from his teammates.

Freshman shooting guard DeShawn Harris-Smith came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points and added six rebounds and three assists. Junior power forward Julian Reese registered his 13th double-double of the season by amassing 16 points and 13 rebounds, and fifth-year senior small forward Donta Scott chipped in 11 points and six rebounds.

For the second game in a row, coach Kevin Willard made at least one change in the starting lineup. He paired senior Jahari Long, another point guard, with Young in the backcourt and kept Reese and Scott with sophomore power forward Mady Traore.

In Saturday’s 79-75 double overtime loss at Ohio State, freshman Jamie Kaiser Jr. had replaced Harris-Smith at shooting guard, while Traore moved into the starting frontcourt over senior small forward Jordan Geronimo. Traore collected eight points and five rebounds in his first career start with the Terps, but Kaiser did not score a point while picking up two quick fouls in the first half.

Traore had two points, one rebound, one block and one steal against the Hawkeyes before injuring his left knee while diving for a defensive rebound with 17:36 left in the second half. He did not return.

And with sophomore small forward Noah Batchelor’s left leg in a walking boot before the game, an already short bench got shorter when Geronimo appeared to bang his right knee against Iowa junior small forward Payton Sandfort’s knee with 4:45 left in the first half. Geronimo, who was ruled out for the rest of the game and sat on the bench with a bag of ice wrapped around his knee, finished with two points, one rebound and one steal in seven minutes.

Maryland also put the clamps on Iowa, holding the Big Ten’s second-most prolific offense (and 15th nationally) to about 18 points under its season average of 84.2. The defense has limited opponents to less than 70 points in 14 of its past 16 games.

The Terps collected their second consecutive victory over the Hawkeyes after losing four straight meetings and five of the previous six. They also improved to 4-3 against Iowa.

Sandfort paced the Hawkeyes (14-11, 6-8) with 19 points and five rebounds. Graduate student power forward Ben Krikke added 11 points and two steals, and senior point guard Tony Perkins compiled nine points, eight rebounds and three assists before fouling out with 24.4 seconds remaining, but Iowa fell for the fifth time in its past eight games.

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Trailing 37-31 at halftime, Maryland slipped further as Iowa built a 54-44 advantage with 12:09 left in the second half. But after the Hawkeyes forged a 58-50 lead with 10:33 remaining, the Terps embarked on a 15-2 run in a 5:17 span to assume a 65-60 advantage. When Young converted two free throws to give Maryland a 62-60 lead at the 6:57 mark, that was the team’s first since 2-0 with 17:51 left in the first half.

The game opened promisingly as Scott gave Maryland an early lead and Iowa went the first 3:03 without a point. But Iowa’s Sandfort bookended a 13-2 run with back-to-back 3-pointers at the start and his third at the end.

The Terps replied with an 11-5 burst that drew them within 18-15 midway through the first half. But the Hawkeyes scored eight consecutive points for a 26-15 advantage and their largest lead of the game.

Maryland clawed back with four on two occasions — at 30-26 with 2:01 left and at 35-31 with 6.8 seconds remaining. But redshirt senior forward Patrick McCaffery knifed through the heart of the Terps’ defense to bank in a layup just before the buzzer sounded to send Iowa into halftime with a 37-31 lead.

This story will be updated.

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