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January 19, 2017

Fran McCaffery

Iowa City, Iowa

Maryland - 84, Iowa - 76

Q. Seemed like every time you guys charged or took the lead, they made a big bucket. Was it more defensive execution or their offense?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think you've got to give them credit for the shots they made. I mean, they were moving the ball. Our activity defensively was obviously much better in the second half. I'm proud of our guys, the way they fought back. But they did a good job of answering our runs with timely baskets.

Q. The bench was really the backbone of the second half.
COACH McCAFFERY: We had a different lineup in there. They were tremendous. A lot of times, you just leave them in, but they were gassed at that one point. We had to make some moves.

Q. Seems like Peters, battling through the back, shoulder issues right now. Is it hard for him to get into a flow with what's going on there?
COACH McCAFFERY: I don't know. I mean, he's got a lot of things going on. So it can't be easy I guess.

Q. What was the biggest thing that you really emphasized to your team at the half?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, it started with some disappointment regarding our effort level at the start of the game. Because I don't think I, nor any coach, ever expects perfection, especially when you're playing a team of this calibre. I mean, Maryland is really good. Mark is a good coach. They run really good stuff. They are hard to guard.

But I didn't think our effort at the beginning of the game matched their ability to move the ball and execute with our offense. Now, as the half wore on, we got better obviously. And so I wanted more of that, than what we had at the start.

Q. Can you talk about Ahmad Wagner and energy?
COACH McCAFFERY: He was the difference in the game. There's no question about that. He sort of imposed his will on that game, which isn't easy to do against a team that's that athletic. But he did and I'm really proud of him.

Q. What was the difference in the final minute or two?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, we had a couple chances and we had some opportunities defensively and just didn't work out.

Q. Big picture, you have your first bye here in the Big Ten season over the weekend. Is it a good time for that?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think so. I think whenever you lose, you want to get right back out there. But we've got a couple guys with some ailments that they can take some time to get better. So you always look at the bye and say, okay, well, let's make the best of it.

Q. You got Dale out there a little bit.
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, I thought Dale was pretty good. He was kind of in the right place -- the hardest thing, when you're out that long -- I mean, he hasn't played that much. The problem you have is you're not in the right place, typically, those guys, and he was. He got on the glass. I thought he shot open shots, and he's a good three-point shooter, and he wasn't gassed like I thought he might be. So it was good to get him out there.

Q. Is Dom still out with the thumb?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, Dom just didn't look right to me yesterday in practice. In a game like this, especially when we're behind the whole time, I just didn't think it was a good game for him.

It would have been a good game for him. He played well against them last year but not when he's not at 100 percent. I think it's unfair to run him out there.

Q. When you look at the comeback versus Purdue versus the comeback you had tonight, what was the difference, besides the outcome?
COACH McCAFFERY: We didn't get enough stops tonight. We got more stops in that game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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