Maryland snaps Iowa's home winning streak
As a native Iowan, Maryland coach Brenda Frese knew all about the home-court advantage at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
On Sunday Frese also knew the key to cracking Iowa’s home-court mastery.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 19 points to lead three players in double figures as eighth-ranked Maryland snapped Iowa’s 25-game home winning streak with a 76-56 win in front of nearly 8,000 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
A Cedar Rapids native, Frese improved to 3-0 all-time against Iowa in her first game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“This is obviously a really difficult place to play,” Frese said. “They’ve won 25 straight games here, we knew that, we knew about that streak, so we knew this was going to be an extremely difficult place to play.”
Maryland never trailed on Sunday, jumping out to an 8-1 lead, and handed Iowa its first home loss since an 83-53 loss to Louisville in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March of 2014.
Brionna Jones had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Kristen Confroy added 11 points as Maryland improved to 14-2 on the season and 3-1 in Big Ten play.
“I thought we played for her (Frese),” Walker-Kimbrough said. “Coming back to her home state we wanted to put on a show for her and that’s what I thought we did a great job at.”
Iowa shot just 38 percent and had 16 turnovers Sunday on its way to a season-low 56 points.
The Hawkeyes had 10 turnovers in the opening half as Maryland built a 40-30 halftime lead, and made just 9-of-28 field goals in the final two quarters as the Terrapins pulled away.
The loss was the second straight for Iowa (12-4, 2-2 Big Ten), which squandered a 17-point lead in a road loss to Michigan on Thursday.
“For sure that took the wind out of our sails a little bit, that was a tough way to lose,” Bluder said of the loss to Michigan. “You’re up 17 on the road, we lose in the fourth quarter. So that’s one of those that mentally can have some hangover. I think there maybe was a little bit of that. But right now we have to right the ship and we don't have a long time to do it.”
Iowa cut the lead to 42-35 less than a minute into the third quarter on five straight points by Alexa Kastanek.
Maryland answered with a 5-0 run of its own on a conventional three-point play by Jones and a pair of free throws from Walker-Kimbrough.
Iowa never got the lead under 10 again.
“I was really concerned coming in just in terms of how scrappy and how hard Iowa plays and they can shoot the 3 and they can score in a variety of ways,” Frese said. “I think Lisa Bluder and her staff have done just a tremendous job with such a young team and playing as hard as they have and the record that they have. It was going to take a 40-minute complete game to come in here and get a win.”
Maryland turned Iowa’s 16 turnovers in 18 points, several of which were easy baskets in transition.
Meanwhile, Iowa seemed to get nothing easy on offense against a Maryland team that entered the game holding teams to 54.5 points per game.
Ally Disterhoft and Megan Gustafson accounted for half of Iowa points on Sunday, scoring 14 apiece.
Disterhoft and Gustafson were a combined 10-of-21 from the floor, while the rest of the Hawkeyes were 11-of-34.
“I think that we just need to focus on making smarter passes and making those reads a little bit better,” Disterhoft said. “We kind of get in a hurry and sometimes don’t jump-stop like we should and then force something and that is something that we can fix and something we can take care of and we are going to do that, we’re going to get that figured out.”
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.