Gophers Lose Fifth Straight
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Akeem Springs led the Minnesota (15-7, 3-6) with a season-high 23 points Saturday, but the Gophers lost to No. 22 Maryland, 85-78.
Justin Jackson had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, making all five of his 3-point attempts. Jackson and fellow freshman Kevin Huerter combined to go 10 for 12 from 3-point range. Huerter finished with 19 points and Melo Trimble added 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as the Terrapins (19-2, 7-1) kept pace with Wisconsin in a tie for first place in the Big Ten.
The biggest problem for Minnesota was its defense, with Maryland making more than half of its field-goal attempts (30 for 59), including an 11-for-18 performance from beyond the arc.
The start was sluggish, with both teams missing nine of their first 12 shots, but the Gophers got their crowd going with a 19-1 run sparked largely by Springs that gave them a 21-9 lead past the midpoint of the first half. Four of their first six made field goals were dunks, further enhancing the energy in the 89-year-old arena.
Amir Coffey, who has produced most of his best rookie performances against Minnesota's most daunting opponents, swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 44 seconds left before halftime for a 33-26 lead. He scored each of his 11 points in the first half.
Minnesota entered the afternoon with the Big Ten's lowest 3-point shooting percentage allowed and Maryland was third, but the game became sort of a long-range shooting contest as players on both sides began to heat up.
Trimble's twisting, foul-drawing layup, after which he glared at the Minnesota student section for emphasis, put the Terrapins in front 58-56 for the first time since 9-8. Trimble gave them the lead again at 73-71 with a similar, gravity-defying play that drew a foul on Springs for a three-point play with 2:49 left.
Nate Mason answered with a 3-pointer and tied the game at 76 with a pair of foul shots with 1:47 remaining, but Huerter hit a 3-pointer from the corner to quiet the crowd and help the Terrapins inch toward the finish.
Maryland: Jackson was only 3 for 14 from 3-point range in Big Ten play entering the game.
Minnesota: Mason missed 10 of 12 shots from the floor but went 8 for 8 from the free-throw line and passed the 1,000-point mark for his career.