Minnesota falls to No. 12 Maryland 70-58
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The whistle kept blowing, and Minnesota’s bid for an upset lessened each time Maryland walked to the free throw line.
Too many fouls and a slew of missed shots proved too much for the Golden Gophers to overcome Saturday in a 70-58 loss to No. 12 Maryland.
Although Minnesota (11-4, 0-2 Big Ten) never led after the opening three minutes, the game remained close until the Terrapins (14-1, 2-0) began their procession to the line in the second half.
The Gophers were called for 15 fouls after halftime. Maryland made 20 of 28 free throws overall after going 3 for 4 in the first half.
“Certainly, we fought back a couple of times ... but we just kept fouling,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino lamented. “You can’t win like that.”
To make matters worse, the Gophers shot 33.8 percent from the field in their lowest offensive output of the season and were outrebounded 44-35.
Minnesota was 3 for 22 from beyond the arc, including 2 for 10 by Carlos Morris.
“I thought we were just trying to get it all back at once from the 3-point line when we should have been shot-faking,” Pitino said.
Maurice Walker had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Morris scored 18 for the Gophers, who have lost at Purdue and Maryland after an eight-game winning streak.
“We knew these first two games would be very difficult,” Pitino said. “We’re excited to go back home. We need to go home and get some confidence back.”
Minnesota hosts Ohio State on Tuesday.
“We want to defend our home court. That was one of our goals at the start of the season,” Walker said. “We had an opportunity to do something big at Purdue and here. We just didn’t bring it.”
Melo Trimble led the Terrapins with 20 points, Dez Wells added 12 and sophomore Damonte Dodd had a career-high 12 rebounds.
Trimble, a freshman point guard, missed 10 of 15 shots from the floor but went 9 for 13 at the foul line.
Maryland was nursing a 41-35 lead when Dodd swatted away a shot by Joey King. Trimble followed with a layup on the other end, and a basket by Jake Layman gave the Terrapins a 10-point cushion.
That was part of a 9-0 run that made it 47-35 with 13:50 left.
The Gophers closed to 53-46 before Wells scored off his own miss and sank two foul shots for an 11-point lead with 7:27 remaining.
Minnesota never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
The victory capped a memorable first week of Big Ten play for the Terrapins, who beat Michigan State on the road in double overtime Tuesday. Maryland is just three wins short of matching its total for all of last season.
Minnesota: The Gophers have been held under 80 points in two straight games after scoring at least 84 in all eight during their winning streak. ... Minnesota fell to 0-5 all-time against the Terrapins.
Maryland: With nine points over 13 minutes in the first half, Dodd matched his career high in scoring. He was 3 for 3 from the floor with two blocks and seven rebounds.
REVERSAL OF FORM
Minnesota: The Gophers were ranked second nationally in assists (19.9) on Jan. 2 and led the Big Ten conference in 3-point shooting. In this one, they had only five assists and shot 13.6 percent beyond the arc.
Maryland: After 15 games a year ago, the Terrapins were 10-5. Now they’re off to their best start in 18 years.
“Our confidence is at an all-time high right now,” Dodd said.
Minnesota: The Gophers host Ohio State on Tuesday.
Maryland: The Terps face Illinois on the road Wednesday.