Minnesota takes down No. 10 Maryland

The Gophers beat the Terrapins by 19 points Sunday.

Guard Gadiva Hubbard eyes the hoop during the game against Maryland at Williams Arena on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. The Gophers won 93-74.

Ellen Schmidt

Guard Gadiva Hubbard eyes the hoop during the game against Maryland at Williams Arena on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. The Gophers won 93-74.

by Drew Cove

The No. 10 team in the country was no match for the unranked Gophers.

Minnesota (21-6, 10-4 Big Ten) upset another top-25 team, this time a rout of No. 10 Maryland (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) 93-74 at Williams Arena Sunday.

“A phenomenal game for our team,” head coach Marlene Stollings said. “We’re really on a high right now. We’re playing extremely well [and] we’re peaking at exactly the right time.”

Maryland came to Minneapolis as the favorite against unranked Minnesota, but the Gophers had momentum on their side with the win over No. 23 Michigan just four days prior. 

The starters came through for Minnesota, with three of them reaching at least 20 points. Guard Gadiva Hubbard led the way with 22 points, and guard Kenisha Bell and forward Destiny Pitts followed with 21 and 20 points, respectively.

“At this point it’s confidence, we have momentum and maturity on the floor,” senior Carlie Wagner said. “The ball is really rolling for us right now.”

Pitts and Hubbard dominated from three-point range, Hubbard was 7-12 and Pitts was 6-11 in the contest. Beyond Pitts and Hubbard, the Gophers shot 58 percent from three-point range in the game. 

Williams Arena fell completely silent only one time after the start of the game. Pitts went down to the floor near the end of the fourth quarter as the 4,625 fans were intently watching the freshman. She was helped to the locker room and made a return to the game before it was all over.

The turning point of the game was when Maryland took the lead in the first quarter 15-10, but from that point into the beginning of the second quarter, Minnesota went on a 16-4 run to take a 26-19 lead under a minute into the second. From that point, the Gophers never lost the lead and kept building from their five-point lead after the first quarter. 

“The way we shoot, we have confidence in our shots,” Pitts said. “It’s like everybody’s on your side. The fans played a big role in today’s win and after that, you see a shot and you know it’s going to go in.”

While Minnesota has been on a roll lately, the Terrapins have been on the reverse of that. They fell to unranked Purdue in the last game before losing in a rout to Minnesota. Prior to the last two losses, Maryland was riding on a seven-game winning streak.

Bell reached a personal and program milestone in the game Sunday. In the first half, she scored her 1,000th point for Minnesota. 

The Gophers are ready for the next matchup where Wagner will play her last game at Williams Arena. 

“We’re so excited,” Wagner said. “I’m going to go out and have a blast with my teammates, and let’s go get Indiana.”