Lately, the Maryland Terrapins have not exactly been reminding people of the 1989 Detroit Pistons when it came to defense and rebounding. With the high-scoring and 3rd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes looming, it was imperative that the Terps improved in both facets of the game.
On Thursday night, they did just that in front of a packed house at the XFINITY Center and a national television audience. Maryland held Jarrod Uthoff to only two baskets and outrebounded the Hawkeyes as they earned themselves a quality 74-68 victory.
Uthoff, who came into the game leading the Big Ten in scoring at 18.9 PPG, was hounded all night long by Maryland forwards Robert Carter, Jr. and Jake Layman. Layman, in particular, did a fine job of forcing Uthoff into a 2-for-13 shooting night.
On the boards, Maryland got the better of that battle by outrebounding Iowa 38-35. After allowing 33 offensive rebounds in their previous two games, the Terps were much better in that area as the Hawkeyes grabbed just 10 off the offensive glass.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, especially from 3-point range. Maryland was 0-for-10 in the second half from deep and only 6-for-25 for the game. Iowa was equally brick-worthy from beyond the arc as they were just 5-for-24 on the night.
Iowa, who leads the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio, turned the ball over 11 times while registering just nine assists. The Terps dished out 16 assists while only turning the ball over 10 times.
Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon each scored 17 points as Maryland ended Iowa’s nine-game winning streak and handed the Hawkeyes their first loss in conference play.
The shots are going to start falling for Maryland, eventually. Once that happens and they can sustain Thursday night’s level of defensive intensity, the Terps are going to be even more dangerous than they already are.