‘Underestimated’ Maryland stymies Caitlin Clark and Iowa in revenge game

Iowa's Caitlin Clark and Maryland's Diamond Miller are looking to lead their teams to a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Maryland women’s basketball remembered its beatdown at the hands of Big Ten rival Iowa in early February. The loss deepened the chip on the No. 7 Terrapins’ collective shoulder.

“A lot of people have underestimated us as a team this whole year pretty much,” senior guard Brinae Alexander said.

Alexander and the Terps (23-5) not only avenged that loss but completely flipped the script Tuesday, scoring a 96-68 win against the No. 6 Hawkeyes (22-6). The 28-point margin represented the biggest loss in Player of the Year front-runner Caitlin Clark’s tenure at Iowa.

Clark scored 42 points in the 96-82 win against Maryland on Feb. 2. But in the Hawkeyes’ visit to College Park, the junior guard was held to 18 points, her second-lowest total of the season. She is averaging 27.0 points per game, third in NCAA Division I.

“They denied the heck out of her,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “They face-guarded her the whole time.”

“Overrated!” came the chant from Maryland fans at the Xfinity Center, directed at Clark and the Hawkeyes as the Terps increased their lead.

Maryland coach Brenda Frese praised her team’s response to its earlier loss in Iowa City.

“That’s what I love about this group,” Frese said. “They took it to heart back when we went to Iowa and Clark and [Monika] Czinano kind of had their way with us. And you just saw the focus and the intention today.”

Iowa scored just eight points in the second quarter, the Hawkeyes’ lowest mark in any quarter this season. The team also committed a season-high 24 turnovers.

Alexander scored a season-high 24 points off the bench on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 shooting from behind the 3-point line. As a team, the Terps went 14-of-26 from beyond the arc.