Gophers fall 85-78, loss streak continues

Minnesota has now lost five straight contests versus conference foes.

Grad student Akeem Springs drives the ball up the court on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers lost 78-85 against the University of Maryland Terrapins.

Chris Dang

Grad student Akeem Springs drives the ball up the court on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers lost 78-85 against the University of Maryland Terrapins.

Jack White

Fans cleared out of Williams Arena with 10 seconds to go Saturday as Maryland’s Melo Trimble approached the free throw line.

Trimble made it an 85-78 game with two shots and buried Minnesota’s last chances at an upset win, the fifth consecutive defeat for the Gophers.

“Heck of a game, and it just came down to the last minute and a half,” said head coach Richard Pitino. “[I] feel for our guys.”

Maryland closed out the game on a 6-0 run, with all of the points scored on free throws.

Minnesota Guard Amir Coffey had 11 points in the first half and went 3-5 from the field. Coffey was limited to no points in the second half. He had nine in the game.

Maryland’s Trimble also had nine assists in the game. He scored 13 points and seven rebounds in the win.

Minnesota’s opponent has shot 50 percent or better for the third consecutive matchup. Pitino said he gives the on-ball defense a grade of “F.”

“They shot 65 percent [in the second half],” Pitino said. “We’ve got to get better.”

Freshman Justin Jackson had a career-high 28 points for the Terrapins. Jackson shot 5-5 from beyond the arc and added 10 rebounds.

The Terrapins’ Kevin Huerter also made five 3-point shots. He finished with 19 points on 7-10 shooting.

The Terrapins tied the game in the second half when Maryland’s Anthony Cowan stole a pass from forward Michael Hurt and scored on the fast break with 10:07 to go.

Trimble was fouled and made a shot off the backboard. The basket was a go-ahead make for the Terrapins with 8:32 to go in the game.

Gophers Guard Akeem Springs had 23 points on 9-15 shooting. Springs has scored double-digit point totals three straight times since being put in the starting lineup.

“We lost because I didn’t make the plays down the stretch; this game is on me,” Springs said. “Your seniors need to step up and make plays. I didn’t make those plays.”

A 9-2 run by the Terrapins cut the Gophers’ lead to just three with 15:44 to go in the game.

A lane violation with 6:38 to go led to an extra free throw from power forward Jordan Murphy. Murphy hit the shot to tie the game at 63. He scored 10 points in the game, which marks the first time he’s had double-digit point totals since Jan. 1 against Purdue.

Guard Nate Mason shot just 2-10 from the field but scored 14 points and went 8-8 at the free-throw line.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon collapsed to the floor with his hand over his face when Coffey drew a foul under the rim and Minnesota took a 72-69 lead with 3:24 to go, but it didn’t last.

Center Reggie Lynch fouled out of the game for the third time in the last four contests.

“It’s frustrating not being at the end of the games during crunch time,” Lynch said. “That’s on me to not let them add up towards the end.”

Minnesota will head to Champaign, Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini on Feb. 5.

“There’s nothing to meet about,” Springs said. “We’ve talked, nothing to talk about, just get in there and work.”