Freshmen Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter had 28 and 19 points, respectively, while junior guard Melo Trimble added 13 as the Maryland men's basketball team rode a 59-point second half to win its fourth consecutive road game in Big Ten play with an 85-78 victory at Minnesota Jan. 28.
Maryland (19-2, 7-1 in the Big Ten) started off the game sluggishly, falling behind, 21-9, after the Gophers' Dupree McBrayer sank a 3-pointer with 9:22 remaining in the first half. The Terps came within two points of Minnesota after that, but eventually settled for a halftime deficit of 33-26.
Minnesota's second half lead topped out at nine points a little more than three minutes into the half. The Terps dug into the Gophers' lead during the next two minutes, as 3-pointers by Huerter and Jackson and an easy bucket from sophomore forward Ivan Bender got Maryland to within a 41-39 deficit.
The Terps and Gophers traded haymakers the rest of the way. Minnesota grabbed a 44-39 lead, but a Huerter 3-pointer immediately cut into it; then the Gophers got a 49-44 lead, and Jackson responded with a 3-pointer; and then a 54-49 lead, followed by a Jared Nickens three.
Maryland tied the game at 54 with 9:24 left, the first of five ties in the second half. The last of those ties came with 1:47 remaining in the game, when Gophers guard Nate Mason knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 76. But Maryland immediately responded, with Trimble finding an open Huerter in the corner for a 3-pointer and a 79-76 lead.
Minnesota bounced right back with a bucket from forward Jordan Murphy to cut Maryland's lead to 79-78 with 1:20 left to play, but the Gophers didn't score the rest of the way. On the Terps' following possession, Trimble drove to the hoop and was blocked by Murphy, but Jackson got the loose ball, drew a foul and sank both free throws for an 81-78 lead.
Maryland came up with three big stops in the final minute and made four of its final six free throws to salt away the victory.
More notes from the Terps victory at Minnesota:
- Maryland's four road wins during conference play matches its total from last year, when the Terps only beat Northwestern, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Nebraska on the road during conference play. Maryland's 7-1 conference record ties it atop the Big Ten standings with Wisconsin. The Terps and Badgers play Feb. 19 in Madison, Wis.
- Maryland jumped out to an 8-2 lead to begin the contest at Minnesota Jan. 28, but the Gophers reeled off an impressive 19-1 run for a 21-9 lead. The run included nine empty possessions for Maryland. The script later flipped for the Terps, who scored 59 points in 34 possessions during the second half -- 1.74 points per possession --
per Patrick Stevens
- Jackson was outstanding for Maryland. Jackson's 28 points came on 9-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-5 from 3-point range. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out two assists. Jackson hit two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions in the first half to cut a 10-point Minnesota lead to just four, which helped Maryland get back into the flow of the game.
Jackson was also involved in a key sequence with just more than two minutes to play in regulation. Jackson drove from the wing and into the paint, where the Gophers' Eric Curry stood waiting for him near the basket. Jackson leaned into Curry and made his shot as Curry fell to the floor. Curry was ruled to be in the restricted zone, so he got dinged for a blocking call. Jackson converted the free throw for a 76-74 Maryland lead.
- Huerter was 5-of-7 from 3-point range. The Terps finished 11-of-18 from beyond the arc against Minnesota -- the second consecutive road game in which Maryland's shooting played a key role in securing a victory. The Terps were 11-of-23 from three in an 84-76 win at Iowa Jan. 19.
- Trimble had nine assists on the day, a season high for the guard out of Upper Marlboro, Md. He had several gorgeous ones, like
and of course,
- Guard Dion Wiley, who's still dealing with a back injury, didn't make the trip to Minnesota. Forward Michal Cekovsky, who's working his way back from a left ankle injury, got sparse playing time for the second straight game, with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon opting to roll with forwards Damonte Dodd and Bender at the five. Bender fouled out, but added eight points off the bench.