KANSAS CITY, Mo.. — Maryland’s Mark Turgeon knows how to beat Iowa State.
Turgeon improved to 6-0 all-time against the Cyclones as a head coach, guiding the Terrapins to a 72-63 victory over 13th-ranked Iowa State in the championship game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Tuesday at Sprint Center.
The Terrapins are off to a 5-0 start for the first time in eight seasons.
“We were meeting as a staff last night, and we couldn’t figure out what to do,” Turgeon said following the game. “They were saying, ‘We can’t do this,’ and ‘We can’t do that.’
“I said, ‘Should we just forfeit?’ Finally I said, ‘Everybody get out of my room and let me watch some film. We’ll figure it out.'”
Apparently they did.
Forward Jake Layman and guard Jared Nickens each scored 15 points for the Terps. Guard Dez Wells had 14 points, and guard Melo Trimble added 11.
“I thought Jared Nickens changed the game when he came in and whapped that (3-pointer),” Turgeon said. “He really got them spaced out.”
Nickens, a freshman, was not bashful. He finished 6-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-7 from 3-point range.
“My teammates have confidence in me,” he said. “Dez always tells me when I come in to do what I do, and that’s to shoot. I just wanted to come in and have an impact in the game.”
The Terrapins led throughout the second half and sent home an unhappy partisan crowd three hours from the Iowa State campus.
“It’s fun to come home and win here,” Turgeon said. “Kansas City has been such a great city for me my whole life, whether it’s following the Chiefs and the Royals, watching games in Kansas City or playing in big games in Kansas City. It was just another great day in my life in Kansas City.”
Guard Bryce Dejean-Jones led Iowa State (3-1) with 17 points. Forward Georges Niang added 10 points.
“First of all, give credit to Maryland,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “They had a great game plan. It wasn’t us. Look at the box. We had eight assists and seven turnovers. I don’t remember the last time we had under double-digit assists in a game.
“Adversity hit us, and we just kind of folded.”
The Terrapins pulled away in turtle-like fashion in the second half, out-trudging Iowa State 6-0 in the first 5:30 of the half. The Terps eventually built a 46-36 lead.
Iowa State clawed back to within 51-46, but Nickens hit consecutive 3-pointers, sandwiched around a trey by Niang. When Wells hit a baseline jumper, the lead was back to 10 points.
“They were doubling the post, so the perimeter shots were wide open,” Nickens said. “That was part of our game plan heading into the game.”
Iowa State went cold again from the outside, and Maryland survived a Cyclones run down the stretch. The Terps led by as many as 15 points late in the game.
Maryland hung tough early. The teams traded the lead before the Terrapins pulled out to a 23-16 advantage on back-to-back 3-pointers by Layman and Trimble.
The Terps maintained the lead throughout the rest of the half behind nine points by Wells and eight points by Trimble. Maryland took a 37-34 edge into the locker room.
Iowa State got 13 first-half points from Dejean-Jones.
NOTES: Maryland faced Iowa State for the first time in basketball, but Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon has had his share of matchups with the Cyclones, posting a 10-5 record before Tuesday night. As a player at Kansas (1984-87), he was 5-5. His first collegiate game was against Iowa State. As a coach at Texas A&M, Turgeon went 5-0 against the Cyclones. … Turgeon grew up about an hour west of Kansas City in Topeka, Kan. He expected about 50 family and friends to be in attendance. … Iowa State was unable to earn a fifth consecutive win at Sprint Center after claiming the Big 12 Championship in the arena last March and an opening-round win over Alabama in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Monday. … All five Iowa State starters came into the game averaging at least 13.5 points per game.
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