A strong inside game powered Maryland to a 77-66 Big Ten Conference win over Minnesota on Thursday night at Xfinity Center in College Park, Md., where the Terrapins are now 12-1.
The Terrapins (15-6, 4-4 Big Ten) snapped a two-game losing streak thanks to a 33-22 edge in points in the paint and big nights from Kevin Huerter (19 points), Michal Cekovsky (17 points) and Anthony Cowan (15 points, career-high 10 assists). The Terrapins shot 25-of-45, 55.6 percent, from the field.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s interior defense limited Minnesota scoring leader Jordan Murphy to just 7-of-17 shooting on his way to 19 points, as the Golden Gophers (14-7, 3-5) lost for the fourth time in five games.
Minnesota shot 23-of-64 from the floor, 35.9 percent.
The Terrapins lost the lead early in the second half but then went on a 10-0 run to regain control. Huerter started it with a 3-pointer at 18:12 to tie the game at 32-32, and Cekovsky scored eight of Maryland’s next 11 points, including a dunk at 17:38 to put the Terrapins ahead 34-32. The home team would never trail again.
When Joshua Tomaic hit a 3-pointer at 16:27, the Terps led 39-32. The spree grew to 21-2, Maryland hitting seven of eight shots and leading 50-34 at 12:20 when Cekovsky dunked a Huerter lob. Cekovsky was 7-of-10 from the field, mostly off lobs from Huerter, who had five assists and eight rebounds, and Cowan. The Terrapins had a 34-32 edge in rebounds.
Murphy, second in the nation in rebounds, yanked down 14. Nate Mason chipped in 14 points for Minnesota, while Jamir Harris and Davonte Fitzgerald scored 10 apiece.
The Golden Gophers shot 30.3 percent (10-of-33) in the first half but trailed just 29-28 at the break thanks to a 7-0 run to end the half over the final 2:58.
Minnesota scored the first four points of the second half to lead 32-29 when Murphy hit a jumper at 18:19.
The Golden Gophers play Ohio State on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Terrapins travel to Indiana on Monday.
--Field Level Media