COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Instead of emptying her bench in the fourth quarter, Maryland coach Brenda Frese implored her starters to hold off an unexpected charge by Iona.
The second-seeded Terrapins had to work for their 74-58 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, and Frese didn't mind one bit.
''It was great that we had to earn that game,'' Frese said afterward. ''It was a tough, 40-minute game.''
Showing the rust associated with a two-week layoff, the two-time Big Ten champions committed 19 turnovers in a sloppy victory over an Iona team making its NCAA Tournament debut. Maryland let a 19-point lead dwindle to 60-53 with 8:51 left before finally pulling away.
Should the Terrapins (31-3) face a similar situation in their bid to make a third straight appearance in the Final Four, they might be better for this experience.
''We just have to make sure we have to continue to keep our foot on the gas and not let up,'' said Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who scored 19 points. ''At this point in the season, everyone's good.''
The Terrapins finished with a 42-25 rebounding advantage and outscored Iona 15-6 at the foul line to extend their winning streak to 10.
Maryland will next play at home Monday night against No. 7 seed Washington, which advanced with a 65-53 victory over Penn on Saturday.
Iona earned its first-ever berth in the tournament by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown. Facing a team rich in postseason experience, the Gaels put up an impressive fight before succumbing.
''Obviously we would have loved to have the score go in a different direction, but Maryland is a very good, very well-coached team,'' coach Billi Godsey said.
Philecia Gilmore made seven 3-pointers and finished with 21 points. Her last long-range jumper, early in the fourth quarter, got Iona within seven points.
Frese never panicked.
''I think I would have called a timeout if I felt that,'' she said. ''I had great confidence in terms of our experience and leadership.''
Brene Moseley made two straight baskets for the Terrapins, sparking a 10-3 spurt that proved too much for the Gaels to overcome. Iona missed its final 10 shots.
Five players scored in double figures for Maryland. Walker-Kimbrough went 10 for 10 at the foul line, Moseley scored 15 points off the bench and Brionna Jones contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds.
''They have a lot of tough pieces that you have to try to stop,'' Godsey said.
Maryland led 42-27 at halftime despite committing 11 turnovers and failing to make a basket over the final 3:57 of the second quarter.
The Terrapins made their first six shots and got five points from Walker-Kimbrough in a 14-2 run that made it 16-8. It was 26-16 after a first quarter in which the Terps went 11 for 14 from the floor.
After going up by 15 at halftime, Maryland used a basket by Jones and two foul shots by Walker-Kimbrough to make it 46-27 early in the third quarter.
But Iona came back.
''It prepared us for next year,'' Gilmore said. ''This loss right here, it hurts. But it's also motivation.''
Iona: This was the last game for three senior starters: Joy Adams, Aaliyah Robinson and Karynda DuPree.
Maryland: The team's upperclassmen, most notably Moseley and Malinia Howard (10 points) played a huge role. ''Once we settled in,'' Frese said, ''you saw our experience come into play.''
Iona: Adams, a senior forward, went 3 for 12 and scored six points, only the second time in her final 15 games she failed to reach double figures. She leaves the program as the MAAC career leading in rebounds. ... Gaels guard Marina Lizarazu went 5 for 16 with six turnovers and six assists.
Maryland: The Terrapins have won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the last six years. ... Maryland is 30-10 in the tournament under Frese.
Iona: Season over.
Maryland faces Washington on Monday.