Gophers’ losing skid reaches 7 with loss to Maryland
The loss was the 2nd straight by a 35-point margin
MINNEAPOLIS — The fall of the Gophers men’s basketball team has continued unabated. The altimeter spinning downward; rock bottom somewhere in the pitch black abyss.
Minnesota suffered its seventh straight loss in a 81-46 blowout by Maryland on Saturday night at Williams Arena. It matches the program’s worst skid since Richard Pitino’s final team lost that amount in 2021.
The Gophers desperately need big man Dawson Garcia back on the court. Their leading scorer and top rebounder missed his fourth straight game with a bone bruise in his right foot.
Without their best player, Minnesota's offense and defense has struggled accordingly. The Gophers’ nadir of a 35-point loss to Rutgers on Wednesday has company with a 35-point blowout to the Terrapins.
Maryland (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) was a nine-point favorite over Minnesota (7-15, 1-11), and the Terrapins reached that betting line eight minutes into the game and didn’t look back.
The Gophers had another inauspicious first impression. After Rutgers’ alley-oop started the 90-55 blowout on Wednesday, the Gophers offense had an airball and shot-clock violation on the opening possession Saturday.
The Gophers, which had allowed 68 points per game this season, have now given up 81 points to Northwestern, 90 to Rutgers and 81 to Maryland in the span of one week.
Pharrel Payne presented the only bright spot for Minnesota. He was the only Gophers player in double figures with 14 points and added six rebounds and three blocks.
The freshman from Park of Cottage Grove scored the opening eight points for Minnesota, but he couldn’t do it alone as the Gophers fell behind 19-11 until Ta’Lon Cooper’s 3-pointer made it 19-11 six minutes into the game.
Cooper’s no-look pass to Payne for a dunk late in the first half served as Minnesota’s best highlight of the opening 20 minutes. It was part of an 8-0 run that barely took a dent out of Maryland’s lead, which was 41-21 at the half.
Jamison Battle, the Gophers' second leading scorer at 13 points per game, had only four shots in the first half and finished with five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Minnesota shot 34% from the field and 14% from three-point range. Turnovers continue to wreck Minnesota this season; they had 16 on Saturday.
Julian Reese led the Terps with 16 points, while leading scorers Jahmir Young added 14.
Minnesota will play at Illinois on Tuesday.
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