After the Maryland men's basketball team suffered an embarrassing 91-61 loss at Michigan State on Thursday and fell behind Iowa by double digits in the early going Sunday night, the sight of guard Kevin Huerter swishing a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer provided comfort to fans at Xfinity Center.
Huerter's triple with about 13 minutes remaining in the first half helped ignite a sequence in which the Terps made 11 consecutive field goals and went on a 22-6 run. Against a struggling Iowa squad, that stretch put the Terps back in the game, allowing them to ultimately pull away for a 91-73 win.
Beating Iowa, which is now 0-5 in Big Ten play, might not carry the same level of satisfaction as previous seasons, when the Hawkeyes were NCAA tournament contenders. But following the Terps' 30-point defeat in East Lansing, the squad can still use its victory as a springboard to play well in difficult upcoming road matchups with Ohio State and Michigan.
Unlike the Michigan State loss, when Fernando struggled to get going due to foul troubles and a talented Spartans frontcourt, the freshman scored easily inside on Sunday. He racked up 21 points and seven rebounds as the Terps outscored the Hawkeyes by 34 in the paint.
Coming off perhaps the worst game of his career, Cekovsky embodied Maryland's turnaround as well as anyone. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, finishing with 13 points three days after being held to a single bucket and fouling out against Michigan State. While he's usually limited to the half-court offense, he was effective getting down the floor in transition to set up a couple of easy scores.
This was Morsell's best offensive game in several weeks, as he went an efficient 6-for-12 and hauled in a team-high eight rebounds. The freshman excels in these kinds of physical battles, which is a trait that'll serve the Terps well down the stretch this year.
It had been almost two months since Wiley last scored double digit points, so his hot shooting from deep was a welcome sight against the Hawkeyes. He hit back-to-back treys during Maryland's first-half run and finished with 10 points despite playing just 15 minutes due to a head/eye injury coach Mark Turgeon said he hopes isn't serious.
Cowan was at his best late in the contest, helping the Terps turn the game into a blowout with his array of moves near the basket and ability to kick the ball to open men. While others perhaps played better, his consistency and level-headed play kept Maryland in control as tempers flared in the second half.