Iowa's last-second shots fall short; Maryland walks away with 66-65 win

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — There were no last-second heroics for the Iowa men's basketball team this time.

Jordan Bohannon tried a double-clutch line-drive 3-pointer that bounced off the front rim to Isaiah Moss, who grabbed it in midair and flung it up for another shot that also fell harmlessly off the rim.

Just like that, Iowa's four-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday. Its two-game run of miracles also ended. No. 25 Maryland walked out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 66-65 victory.

Bohannon felt he got fouled on his forearm by Anthony Cowan on his shot.

"I went up for a shot, thought I had space. I thought he hit my arm on the way up. I got a shot up on the rim. That's kind of what we wanted," Bohannon said.

"I'm confident in myself. I want to be the one taking the shots at the end of the game."

Bohannon felt his shot had a chance to go in.

"It took a lot of strength for me just to get it up on the rim," he said. "There's not much trajectory I can get on the ball if he pulls my arm down."

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Both Bohannon and Moss thought the final shot was going to go in. Iowa had been on that kind of stretch lately.

"It felt good, too. I thought it was going to in, but it didn't. I guess it wasn't meant to be," Moss said. "It would have just been my turn then."

The winning basket came on a Bruno Fernando tip-in off a Cowan missed layup with 7.8 seconds left.

"He's a pretty hard guy to keep out of the lane. He's pretty quick," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Cowan.

"You've got a lot of things to consider: when he's got the ball; when he's off the ball; you've got (Aaron) Wiggins making 3s; you've got Cowan making 3s, (Eric) Ayala making 3's and Fernando out there — there's a lot of different ways you can go. But he's a hard guy to keep out of the lane. When you have the lead there, you don't want to foul him, either."

No. 19 Iowa fell behind by 12 points in the second half, putting itself in a hole with some unfathomably poor shooting. The Hawkeyes missed seven of their first eight shots in each half.

But Iowa kept at it, getting to the free-throw line and making 19 of 24.

Nicholas Baer's 3-pointer gave the Hawkeyes their first lead of the second half, 61-60 with 2 minutes, 37 seconds remaining.

Iowa forward Nicholas Baer (51) shoots a 3-point basket while Maryland guard Eric Ayala (5) defends during a NCAA Big Ten Conference men's basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

The crowd came to life. Maryland kept its poise. Ayala's jump shot put the Terrapins back in front.

Moss made a jump shot seconds later to give Iowa a 63-62 lead. Fernando responded with a pair of free throws.

So did Bohannon, putting Iowa back in front 65-64 and setting up the final, frantic seconds.

Iowa (20-6, 9-6 Big Ten Conference) had won its previous two games on final-second 3-pointers from Bohannon (to beat Northwestern) and Joe Wieskamp (to down Rutgers).

Three in a row was too much to ask.

Bohannon took the inbounds pass from Baer and dribbled up the court, drawing three defenders. His shot was heavily contested. Moss' follow-up attempt was made in haste.

"He has made incredible shots, and you hope the luck ran out. I wouldn't call it luck, actually, because he's a big-time shooter," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said of Bohannon.

"I think Anthony may have gotten a finger on it on the way up, and then we didn't box out again. Luckily, the shot clock was going down and he had to rush the second shot. I thought it was going in, but it bounced our way tonight."

The crowd silently filed out.

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon puts up a last-second 3-point attempt against Maryland's Anthony Cowan on Tuesday. Bohannon's shot fell off the rim and the Hawkeyes lost 66-65 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The night belonged to Maryland, which is 5-4 in Big Ten road games.

Iowa was fantastic on defense and on the boards in the first half. But the Hawkeyes couldn’t find their shooting touch, making only 2 of 10 3-pointers and trailing 27-23. It was their lowest-scoring half this season.

Maryland (20-7, 11-5) wasn’t much better, but the Terrapins did eventually find their shooting touch. Cowan made three 3-pointers and his teammates added three more. Maryland had only four points in the paint in the first half. Iowa had a 23-17 advantage in rebounding.

Bohannon led Iowa with 14 points. Moss added 12. But they took 25 shots between them. The Hawkeyes made only 32.8 percent of their field goals.

"Shots that normally go in by good shooters weren't going in," McCaffery said.

"Offensively, it was a challenge for us all night. We never really got where we wanted to, but we made enough shots to hang in."

Iowa next hosts Indiana at 8:15 p.m. Friday.