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MARYLAND 74, IOWA 68: UTH-OFF THE MARK

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Iowa's outside shooting never heats up, and the Hawkeyes finally drop one in conference play.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa finally had a cold shooting game, and it came in the worst place to do it. The Hawkeyes were just 5-for-23 from behind the arc, a 23% rate that was nearly half their season average, and it was enough to doom them in a 74-68 loss at Maryland. The Hawkeyes remain first in the Big Ten at 7-1, and the schedule finally lightens up in February.

The game in a nutshell came with 40 seconds left, when Jarrod Uthoff rose up and hoisted an open three that would cut the Maryland lead to two points. The ball rolled around the rim before falling out, Maryland pounced on the loose ball, and that was that. Uthoff had his (arguably) worst game of the season, shooting just 2-for-13 from the field, including 0-for-3 from behind the arc, but at least he provided 10 rebounds in the losing effort. But credit Maryland's slew of athletic big men for their defense: this'll assuredly be the only time this season that the only starter who didn't crack double figures for the Hawkeyes was Uthoff.

Iowa put the "off" in "offense" for basically the whole game, and it's a testament to the Hawkeyes' defense that they were able to stay in the game and even take a late lead speaks to the quality of their defense. The Terrapins managed all of eight points in the first 12 minutes of the second half, and Melo Trimble was hounded into irrelevance by Anthony Clemmons.

But foul trouble doomed Adam Woodbury and the interior defense he provided, and let's be honest: the last two fouls they called on him were terrible. The referees made up for it by fouling out Robert Carter shortly thereafter, which only confirms Hanlon's razor was at work there, but Maryland made its last push into the lead by working the middle with Carter.

Mike Gesell is an important piece of the Hawkeye offense, and nowhere was that more on display than in this game; Gesell was hounded into four turnovers and registered just one assist on the game. He wasn't able to get the ball to shooters in rhythm like he usually does—though Iowa's misses were so bad it might not have made a difference anyway.

That'll likely be the toughest place Iowa plays in the Big Ten this season, and the Hawkeyes made it a 40-minute game. If the shots fall like they usually do, it's probably an Iowa win. Even in a loss, there's no need to panic. Tough games happen sometimes.