Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa men's basketball already equals last year's Big Ten road-win total

Hawkeyes are 4-1 at the conference's quarter pole

Iowa forward Keegan Murray (15) dunks during the first half of the Hawkeyes' 89-67 men's basketball win over Maryland Th
Iowa forward Keegan Murray (15) dunks during the first half of the Hawkeyes’ 89-67 men’s basketball win over Maryland Thursday night at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Md. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — In the second paragraph of my Iowa-Maryland men’s basketball game story in Friday’s Gazette and online Thursday night, I wrote this:

Connor McCaffery’s passing eye was 20/20. His sore ankle was good enough.

His feet? They were among many the Iowa men’s basketball team put on the throats of the Maryland Terrapins Thursday night.

Several readers let me know they took offense at the metaphor, and they were right to do so. It wasn’t poor wording, it was bad wording.

I’ve always insisted words matter, and always will. This was a lousy way to use words. I changed the online version. The print version, I can’t alter. My sincerest apologies. If I expect anyone else on the planet to be better, I should expect even more of myself.

Now, more basketball.

Two straight Big Ten road wins.

That’s nothing to take lightly for the Iowa men’s basketball team, or anyone else in the conference. Within six days, the Hawkeyes knocked off Rutgers and Maryland at their places to improve to 4-1 in the league. They battered Maryland Thursday night at Xfinity Center, 89-67.

Last season, Iowa was 2-8 away from home in league play. They lost at Maryland, 82-72.

The fifth-ranked Hawkeyes absorbed a game-opening 19-9 run by the Terrapins, then owned them thereafter.

“It takes a certain focus to understand how good the teams are in this league, and they’re all different,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said.

“So you’re dealing with travel, you’re dealing with a new game plan.

“But it starts with a focus and concentration that’s necessary to go on the road in this league and perform well, consistently well.”

Box score stuff

Iowa’s 50 percent (13-of-26) 3-point shooting Thursday was its best in its last 10 games, and its 53.7 percent from the field was its best in its last six.

Jordan Bohannon was 1 of 7 in 3-pointers Dec. 25 at Minnesota. He’s 15 of 23 over the three games since.

The Hawkeyes haven’t been a dominant rebounding team, but they’ve had more than all five of their Big Ten opponents.

Joe Toussaint had six steals against Maryland. It’s the most by a Hawkeye in the last two seasons. He did it in just 15 minutes.

Freshman forward Keegan Murray had his second-consecutive 14-point game. Iowa outscored Maryland by 30 points during the 21 minutes he played.

Up next: Minnesota

Iowa plays No. 16 Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (BTN). The Hawkeyes’ only defeat in six Big Ten games was their 102-95 overtime loss to the Gophers in Minneapolis.

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Minnesota is 3-2 in the conference. Its last game was an 82-57 loss at Michigan Wednesday. The Gophers shot 32.4 percent from the field. Michigan 7-foot freshman center Hunter Dickinson scored 28 points.

Comments: (319) 398-8440; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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