McCaffery ejection, missed calls, technical fouls, contribute to edgy game
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Alright everyone, take a breath. There was a lot going on in College Park tonight, but it’s over now. Let’s talk about it.
Iowa and Maryland have provided us with some competitive and physical games since Maryland entered the conference, but Sunday night’s game was one of the more erratic ones.
The Terrapins pulled away from the Hawkeyes late to win 91-73. Unfortunately, the big story in this contest is the officials.
It’s no secret that the crew of Bo Boroski, Rob Riley, and Donnie Eppley didn’t call their greatest game, and some of their mistakes had sizable impacts on the game.
There were handfuls of iffy foul calls and some no calls throughout the game. Those happen in every college basketball game. Not a big deal.
As the physical game progressed, the crew’s decision to let the guys “play on” led Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery to the point of explosion.
McCaffery was assessed two technical fouls and was ejected with 44 seconds remaining before halftime after Jordan Bohannon was whistled for a travel. During the loose ball sequence, Bohannon appeared to be fouled.
McCaffery’s outburst was a result of more than this one sequence. Multiple missed calls – including a phantom foul call on Bohannon on a Maryland jump shooter – led McCaffery to his tipping point.
On the previous Iowa possession, Cordell Pemsl set a screen for Bohannon, and Maryland guard Anthony Cowan struck Pemsl’s neck with his elbow. There was no call, Pemsl was noticeably in pain, and McCaffery wasn’t happy.
The first technical on McCaffery was warranted, but the second is what has everyone shaking their heads. McCaffery admitted in the postgame that he didn’t want to get tossed, and wasn’t able to get an explanation.
From afar, the second technical is a head scratcher, and the officials may have been too quick-triggered to toss McCaffery. Unless McCaffery said a couple magic words, the ejection is questionable.
This wasn’t the only issue for the officiating crew. Bohannon was whistled for another foul late in the game, seemingly for no other reason that the Terrapin shot missing the mark. But, Bohannon also got away with a push off on an Iowa possession later in the game. Missed calls go both ways.
Late in the second half, Tyler Cook drove the lane and was whistled for a charge on Joshua Tomaic, and both players hit the floor. Maryland forward Bruno Fernando stood over the two while Maryland players celebrated.
Fernando stepped on and then over Cook as he tried to help Tomiac up. Cook pushed Fernando in the leg as he stood up. The two exchanged words, leading to double technicals. The charge and technical were Cooks fourth and firth personal fouls.
Fans on social media were not happy with the officials. One fan was so upset that he started a petition, calling for the termination of the officiating crew.
Personally, I think the missed calls are a part of the game. There were a lot, and the crew struggled, but they always go both ways.
McCaffery’s second technical was (probably) uncalled for.
Cook was being taunted, but he retaliated with a shove. He made a mistake, and earned the double technical.
The officials did not decide who ultimately would win or lose. The players and coaches did, and Maryland had the upper hand, thanks to hot, balanced shooting.
The Terrapins went on multiple scoring runs throughout the game, including a first half stretch in which they made 11 straight field goals. Maryland shot 57 percent from the floor and scored 56 points in the paint.
Six of the eight players in the Terps’ rotation scored in double figures, led by Fernando with 21.
Defense was the issue again for Iowa. Maryland players dribbled through the Iowa zone to get inside. The Hawkeyes also gave Maryland too many open threes, even though the Terps were 4-of-17.
Iowa’s offense struggled at times as well, and if it weren’t for a career-high 25 points from Isaiah Moss, Iowa could have hopped on the plane at halftime. The sophomore guard shot the ball with confidence in conference play for the first time this season.
Bohannon finished a tough night with 17 points, going 5-of-10 from three. The point guard also had five assists compared to six turnovers.
Nicholas Baer and Luka Garza also played well in stretches, but Garza was hindered by foul trouble in both halves.
The Hawkeyes were in the game for 40 minutes, they just got gassed towards the end. The guys got back to having fun, and it nearly willed them to a gritty victory. If they keep it up, they’ll get there.
Iowa (9-9, 0-5) has two more road games next on the schedule. Thursday, the Hawkeyes travel to Champaign to face Illinois (10-7, 0-4). One team will walk away with its first conference win.