The 12h-ranked Maryland Terrapins, behind a spirited team effort, mauled the Minnesota Golden Gophers 70-58 to win their first-ever Big Ten home opener before a season-high 15,788 delirious fans at Xfinity Center.
Maryland forward Demonte Dodd led the way with his best game as a Terrapin. He tied a career-high with nine points and collected a career-high 12 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots, two assists and one steal.
Freshman sensation Melo Trimble had a team-high 20 points, including hitting nine of 13 free throws. He also grabbed six rebounds, had two assists, two steals and one blocked shot.
Senior leader Dez Wells added 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots. Forward Jake Layman chipped in with 12 points, six rebounds two blocks and one steal. Layman and Trimble helped the Terps close out the game by combining to score the final 12 points for the Terps.
The game was defined by three runs. The Terps, after a layup by the 6-11 Dodd gave the Terps their largest lead of the game at 32-17 with 7:37 to play, but Minnesota then went on a 16-4 run to close out the first half only down 36-33.
Maryland then started the second half with an 11-2 run to make the score 47-35 with 13:51 to go. Thanks to the scoring blitz the Terps had a near double-digit lead the entire second half. The Golden Gophers cut the lead to 49-42 after a Maurice Walker free throw with 9:57 to play in the game but that is as close as they would get to the 12-ranked Terrapins who improved to (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) with their seventh straight victory and highest ranking since 2004. The Terps are now tied with Purdue for first place in the Big Ten.
The Terrapin defense, which is second in the conference in three point percent defense at .287 per game was outstanding. They held the Big Ten’s top three point shooting team to 3-22 from beyond the arc. They also held the second (Nate Mason, 50 percent) and third (Andre Hollins, 47 percent) best three point shooters in the conference to a combined 0-8 from three point land.
Maryland, who also leads the conference in field goal percent defense at .371, held Minnesota to a season-low in points as they only shot 33.8 percent from the field.
The Terps lead the Big Ten in rebounding at 28.3 per game, also won that battle 44-35. The Terrapins held the Gophers, who were ranked second nationally at 19.9 assists per game, to five assists.
Minnesota did harass the Terps with a full court press which sped the Terrapins up and led to 19 turnovers. Still, the Terps were hustling and diving for loose balls all game long as the referees let the teams play. Maryland finished the game with seven steals and nine blocked shots and many saves along the end lines to keep offensive possessions alive.
The Golden Gophers were led by Walker who scored 20 points and collected 10 rebounds. Guard Carlos Morris scored 18 points and snagged six rebounds in a losing effort for the (11-4, 0-2, Big Ten) Golden Gophers.