The Takeaways: Angry Terrapins Snap Hawkeyes
Lisa Bluder said on Wednesday that Maryland probably had Thursday's game against Iowa circled.
The Hawkeyes' coach had seen her team win three consecutive games from the Terrapins, who had won four of the last five Big Ten regular-season titles.
So Bluder had an idea on what might be coming in the battle of the two teams at the top of the conference standings.
She was right.
Maryland's defense suffocated Iowa in the 93-59 win that put them in sole possession of first place of the league with four games left.
Iowa (20-5, 11-3 Big Ten) fell to third place in the conference, a game behind the Terrapins and a half-game back of Northwestern, the only other team in the conference with two losses.
Maryland (21-4, 12-2) disrupted Iowa's offense early, and the Hawkeyes never recovered. The Terrapins held Iowa to just nine points in the second quarter and no points for the first 3:18 of the third quarter.
The Terrapins shut off the driving lanes, keeping Kathleen Doyle in check. The senior guard finished with 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
It wasn't a good night for the rest of the Hawkeyes' backcourt. Makenzie Meyer was 2-of-7 shooting and had seven turnovers. Alexis Sevillian was 1-of-5 with four turnovers.
Bluder had said on Wednesday that the Hawkeyes would have to play a "near-perfect game," and it wasn't even close. Iowa committed 27 turnovers, and was often too tentative on offense. That led to bad positioning, and bad passing. Maryland scored 37 points off turnovers.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes seemed a step slow all night on defense. Maryland shot 55.7 percent for the game, getting 58 points in the paint.
It was the worst loss of the season for the Hawkeyes, and it couldn't have come at a worse time.
Iowa has three of their last four games at home, where the Hawkeyes have the nation's second-longest winning streak. It's hard to see Maryland losing again, but the Hawkeyes can only hope.