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Fran McCaffery Ejected, Iowa Basketball Loses to Maryland 91-73

Iowa is still winless in Big Ten play.

Iowa v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

In a weekend where Teddy Valentine made national headlines, the refs gave him a proper ode by making this game about them, as they ejected Fran McCaffery late in the first half and helped Tyler Cook reach the foul limit with a weak technical of his own 13 minutes into the second half.

Iowa also dropped to 0-5 in conference play after a dropping a game that was a lot closer than the final score would indicate.

Iowa jumped out to a quick start and led early thanks to the lights out shooting of Isaiah Moss, who scored a career-high 25 points on 10/16 shooting. Iowa’s early lead only lasted the first ten minutes of the game, however, as poor defense allowed Maryland to shoot an absurd 70% from the field for the majority of the half before falling off late. The Terps had three players score in double figures in the first half, as Michal Cekovsky, Bruno Fernando, and Dion Wiley combined to shoot 13/16 in the half for 35 points. Despite this, Iowa trailed just 45-42 with about 50 seconds remaining in the half.

This is, of course, when things got incredibly chippy, and McCaffery was assessed a double technical and tossed from the game (his first time in four years). First, this happened:

There was no foul called on Cowan, nor was there a review to take a look at the play. Instead, Maryland would score on their next trip down the court and Jordan Bohannon would be fouled multiple times on the next possession before the referees would call the sophomore guard for traveling. Fran then came onto the court (maybe one of the techs), said some stuff (definitely one of the techs), and that was that - Maryland would go on to make three of four free throws and the half would end with the Terps up just 48-44.

In the second half, Iowa came out firing on all cylinders and would eventually lead 64-61 with 11 minutes remaining in the half, but the good news would stop there, as Maryland chose that particular moment to go on a 19-2 run. With a handful of Hawks dealing with foul trouble, the Terps were able to abuse Iowa down low, scoring 32 points in the paint in the second half. During their huge scoring run, the game would also see the dismissal of Iowa’s best player, Tyler Cook, due to a charge and a questionable technical foul after Fernando stood over him and was assessed a tech for taunting. It’s unclear whether or not Cook said anything to warrant a technical, but he would have to sit for the remaining seven minutes of the game and Iowa was unable to claw back, scoring just seven points for the remaining game time.

All-in-all, Iowa played probably their best game of the season until the huge scoring run by Maryland decided the game late. Iowa shot well from the field until late in the game and at one point late in the second half was shooting over 80% from three-point range. The turnovers could use some work still, but there’s something to build off of after this game. The fouls weren’t good in this game, but honestly, I don’t blame the players too much for that in this particular contest. Momentum was hard to come by for the Hawks, and none of the calls went their way.

This is still a young team, and they have the talent to put it together. Here’s hoping it happens soon.

Other notes

  • Six Maryland players scored in double digits, while the team shot 57% from the field and converted on 19/25 free throws. Not ideal, in my expert opinion.
  • Maryland was 11/16 shooting layups and 9/9 on dunks. For comparison’s sake, Iowa was 7/12 on layups and a whopping 1/1 on dunks. The Hawks were outscored in the paint 56-22.
  • Iowa had just two players reach double figures in scoring, with Jordan Bohannon (17) joining Moss. Cook and Baer scored seven apiece.
  • Speaking of Nicholas Baer! He was up to his old tricks in this one, adding 11 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks to his stat sheet.
  • Turnovers once again were a major factor in the game, as Iowa turned it over 17 times in the game and Maryland scored 21 points off those turnovers.
  • Iowa’s three-point shooting fell off late in the game, but the Hawks still finished 11/21 from deep (52.4%). Bohannon was 5/10 from three, while Moss finished 4/6.
  • Jack Nunge (3 minutes) and Ryan Kriener (5) appeared to be the odd men out in rotation tonight. Brady Ellingson did not play.
  • Iowa travels to Illinois for their next contest in a battle of teams that are winless in Big Ten play. Something’s gotta give.
  • Fran on his technicals: