Iowa Men's Basketball

Joe Wieskamp bounces back, Iowa basketball bounces past No. 12 Maryland

Sophomore wing has career-high 26 points in Iowa's 67-49 rout

IOWA CITY — Great players don’t stew in their own juices after a rough game.

And make no mistake about it, Iowa sophomore wing Joe Wieskamp is trending toward greatness, as his 70 points over his team’s three conference games in the last week indicates.

Wieskamp scored 21 at Nebraska Tuesday, but was 1-of-10 in 3-point shooting on a night the Hawkeyes went 4-for-33 in a 76-70 loss.

His response: Fuhgettaboudit.

Wieskamp made 5 of 9 3s Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, had a career-high 26 points, claimed 11 rebounds, and stole the ball four times. He led Iowa (2-3 Big Ten, 11-5 overall) to a 67-49 mauling of No. 12 Maryland (3-2, 13-3) before a fired-up announced crowd of 11,172.

“I just tried to come out and play with as much heart and emotion as I could,” Wieskamp said.

Good plan. After a ragged first eight minutes, the Hawkeyes went on a 14-0 run triggered by Wieskamp’s first 3-pointer and capped with him scoring in transition. That gave Iowa a 24-15 lead that they extended to 38-24 by halftime, and the Terps never got closer than 10 after that.

In the middle of that 14-0 burst was a 3-pointer by junior forward Cordell Pemsl that broke a 15-15 tie and gave Iowa a lead it kept. It was Pemsl’s first career 3.

“He swished it, and that was a big play in the game in that stretch,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said.

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“I just kind of let it come to me,” said Pemsl. “I was open and in rhythm shooting the ball. I told myself that I can get the job done and I knocked it down.”

Pemsl also had three first-half assists, matching Maryland’s total. He also had at least three first-half grins, eclipsing Maryland’s total by at least three.

Iowa center Luka Garza hit a rainbow of a 3-pointer over 7-foot-2 Chol Marial’s 8-foot wingspan late in the first half.

Garza’s first two shots were blocked by Maryland’s Jalen Smith. He didn’t flinch, finishing with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Business as usual, for him.

“A lot of guys get their shot blocked the first two times like Luka did, they struggle,” McCaffery said. “Nothing affects him. He just keeps coming. He’ll figure out a way.”

“It’s about adjusting and not losing confidence,” Garza said.

That’s what Iowa’s team did after its night of shooting shabbily in Lincoln Tuesday.

“We weren’t going to back down to Maryland,” Pemsl said. “We played harder tonight.”

Guard CJ Fredrick missed another game with a stress reaction in his left foot. Iowa’s rotation has thinned to eight players.

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“We talked as a team,” said Wieskamp, “kind of got together, realized that we had a decision to make. A lot of people are counting us out realizing we’re missing some of our best players.”

He said the team could choose to fold and not compete “or we could go out there and band together and just focus on the seven, eight guys we have playing.”

Those guys’ defense combined with Maryland’s lousy aim caused the Terrapins to shoot 32.7 percent from the field. Iowa out-rebounded Maryland, one of the Big Ten’s best teams in that category, by 12.

Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon gave the Hawkeyes ample credit, but said “We were bad. We stunk.”

Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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