Iowa women's basketball: No. 8 Maryland races past Hawkeyes in offensive clinic

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

Caitlin Clark had the first half of her life. Iowa flirted with triple digits Tuesday afternoon. And none of it made a bit of difference. 

Maryland is just that good. 

The No. 8 Terrapins flexed their offensive muscle and showed why they're the Big Ten's best, routing the Hawkeyes 111-93 at XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland. The loss marked the most points Iowa (12-7, 8-7 Big Ten Conference) has ever surrendered against a Division I foe and was one off tying the school record, set in a 112-53 loss to Grand View on Dec. 10, 1975. 

In a game that occurred more than a month after its originally scheduled date — Iowa postponed the Jan. 21 contest out of caution regarding the presidential inauguration — Maryland (17-2, 13-1) made it clear early it weren't messing around. The Terrapins ripped off a 41-point first quarter, leaving the Hawkeyes in the dust even as Clark fired away with riveting success. The freshman standout had 29 points and eight 3-pointers in the first half en route to a game-high 34 points. But even Clark couldn't keep Iowa afloat on this day. 

Maryland put four in double figures and had three starters eclipse the 20-point mark: Katie Benzan (29), Diamond Miller (27) and Ashley Owusu (24). Iowa native Brenda Frese's squad shot 61% from the field and 68% from deep, canning 15 treys on 22 attempts. Maryland's 68 first-half points were one away from tying the Big Ten record. 

After sitting most of the first half with foul trouble, Monika Czinano returned down the stretch to finish with 17 points on 8-for-8 shooting. McKenna Warnock added 16 points to aid Clark's efforts, but Iowa's deficit dipped below 15 points just once in the second half. When that happened with 6:44 left, Maryland immediately responded with a 9-0 surge.       

Iowa faced an uphill battle in this afternoon affair. But a defensive letdown like this was staggering nonetheless. The Hawkeyes don't have much time to dwell on the loss in the hectic week. Barely 48 hours after the Maryland loss, Iowa tips off against No. 12 Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.