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Iowa Maryland Basketball

Maryland forward Bruno Fernando gestures to fans in the final moments of Sunday's 91-73 victory over Iowa.

After-thoughts from Iowa’s 91-73 loss to Maryland:

--Iowa definitely played well enough offensively to win the game Sunday. It shot 49.1 percent from the field and made more than half its 3-point attempts (11 of 21). But the defense was pretty awful at times. Maryland got tons of really easy shots, especially early when it made 13 of its first 16. The Terrapins shot 56.7 percent for the game.

--The Hawkeyes also are not going to win many games with Tyler Cook and Luka Garza getting one rebound apiece. Nicholas Baer did a tremendous job on the boards Sunday but none of Iowa’s other frontcourt players did much in that area.

--Other than Isaiah Moss, Baer may have been Iowa’s best player in the game. He finished with seven points, 11 rebounds and four assists and did a decent job defensively on Maryland’s Kevin Huerter. There were three different times in which he grabbed an offensive rebound and pitched it back to a teammate for a wide-open 3-pointer. It happened twice early in the game and then again in the middle of the second half when he found Jordan Bohannon for a 3 that gave the Hawkeyes a 64-61 lead.

--The Hawkeyes showed a great deal of fight and an ability to battle through adversity in the first 30 minutes of the game, but they seemed to wear down. After getting that 64-61 lead, they were outscored 30-9 the rest of the way.

--Moss was as consistently aggressive offensively as we’ve ever seen for an entire game and finished with a career-best 25 points. He’s playing smarter, too. There was a play in the second half when he got a steal and roared down the floor toward the basket. In the past, he would have either scored or bowled over a defender trying. This time he flipped the ball to Maishe Dailey in the corner for an easy 3. It was a tremendously encouraging performance.

--Bohannon clearly loves to shoot in Maryland’s XFINITY Center as he now has 13 3-pont field goals in two games there. But Sunday’s game was a bit of a mixed bag for the sophomore point guard. He did make five 3s and score 17 points but he also committed six turnovers, including a couple of really sloppy ones where he just lost the ball out of bounds trying to rush down the court.

--Fran McCaffery’s player rotation continues to evolve game to game. Veteran guard Brady Ellingson did not play at all for the first time this season and freshman Jack Nunge, a starter until two games ago, did not play in the second half. Nunge played three minutes in the first half and after allowing Maryland players to blow past him a few times, he took a permanent seat on the bench.

--After writing a package of stories recently about the growing shortage of people who want to serve as officials in basketball and other sports, I’ve become more reluctant to harshly criticize the men who wear stripes. That being said, the crew that worked this game completely lost control of it in the first half and never fully regained control. That led to McCaffery being ejected late in the first half after Maryland’s Anthony Cowan got away with committing three clearcut fouls in the span of less than a minute. Cowan first elbowed Cordell Pemsl in the back of the neck, then hacked Bohannon several times coming down the court. When Bohannon was called for traveling, Fran flipped out.

--The most bothersome officiating gaffe came later in the game. Cook was called for a charging foul with 6:15 to go and as he laid on his back on the court, Maryland freshman Bruno Fernando stepped over the top of him, looked down with fists clenched and began taunting him. Cook stuck up his hand in self-defense and both players were slapped with technical fouls. Fernando deserved his. Cook didn’t. Even after looking at video of the play, the officials didn’t change their call. The technical was Cook’s fifth foul of the game.

--The 6-foot-10 Fernando is a tremendous physical talent who clearly outplayed Iowa’s big men Sunday, but his exuberance and competitive fire are a little over-the-top. That could get him into trouble in games that are more competently officiated.

--The Hawkeyes’ loss to Ohio State on Thursday doesn’t look so bad all of a sudden. The Buckeyes went out and routed No. 1-ranked Michigan State on Sunday, leading by 12 at halftime and building their lead to as much as 25 in the middle of the second half.

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