Thursday night was arguably set up for Maryland's biggest home game to date. Albeit at 17-3, the Terrapins have been struggling in their past couple of games - Northwestern and Michigan State - and needed that elusive marquee win to help boost its résumé.
Maryland was able to hang their hat on a solid first half performance and claim that treasured marquee victory. This was a much needed victory for a program looking to solidify themselves for a high tournament seed. It wasn't pretty, but the Terrapins protected home court with their 25th consecutive home victory.
With that, let's see what we learned from the game.
What We Learned:
1. Robert Carter Jr. and Jake Layman shut down Jarrod Uthoff in a variety of ways.
The big question heading into the night was who was going to matchup with Jarrod Uthoff, arguably the conference player of the year. After all of the discussion and waiting, Carter got the opening assignment on the 6-9 senior. The Georgia Tech transfer did a great job at using his physicality and taking Uthoff out of his offensive comfort zones. It appeared the junior big man fatigued Uthoff in the first half when the Terrapins were on offense. Carter used his impressive array of post moves to physically overpower Uthoff and outhustled him in the paint for easy baskets.
Layman used his length to match up well with Uthoff on the perimeter and when the former Wisconsin Badger tried to use his signature step back fade away. Uthoff attempted five shots in the first half and never had a clean look thanks to hard closeouts and strong pressure defense from the Terrapin senior. Getting Uthoff off to a fast start is always Iowa's mindset, and without him in the zone early, it made for a especially tough second half.
2. Rasheed Sulaimon snapped out of his shooting funk.
After an abysmal shooting night against Michigan State, the former Duke Blue Devil stepped up in a big way to get out of his shooting slump. Sulaimon helped spark the Terrapins in the first half with 11 points and assisted on 20 of Maryland's 41 first half points.
3. Adam Woodbury is on a three game double-double streak.
Although he fouled out of the game with 2:47 remaining, the senior big man notched 13 points and 10 rebounds which was good enough for his third consecutive double-double. Woodbury began his streak with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Rutgers and followed that up with a 13 point 10 rebound outing against Purdue this past Sunday.
Not only did he get it done on the offensive end, but the polarizing big man left his mark in the middle of Iowa's 2-3 zone which stymied Maryland until a fourth foul was called on Woodbury forcing him to sit. Iowa's gaping hole in the middle of the zone allowed easy scoring opportunities for Robert Carter which helped build a solid lead for the Terrapins.
4. Iowa goes as far as Jarrod Uthoff takes them.
This wasn't the typical Iowa performance offensively, as Jarrod Uthoff struggled mightily to find his comfort zone thanks to heavy pressure from Jake Layman and Robert Carter. The senior forward finished the night with only nine points on 2-13 shooting, which seemed to stymie the rest of the Hawkeyes - the Hawkeyes had only nine assists on 27 made field goals.
Although the Hawkeyes had four double figure scorers, the ball movement didn't seem to be as crisp which allowed for Maryland to set up intense, on-ball defense which made for a rough shooting night especially from the perimeter.
The Terrapins got their marquee victory which will help bolster the tournament résumé and get their confidence back after sloppy performances against Northwestern and Michigan State. Perhaps the most impressive stat of the night was Maryland being able to pull away for the win while going 0-for-10 from behind the arc in the second half. The Terrapins shot an uninspiring 6-for-26 from the perimeter, but capitalized on their chances from the charity stripe by shooting 16-for-23.