For the first 10 minutes of Wednesday’s game at Maryland, everything was going right for Minnesota’s men’s basketball team.
Senior forward J’son Stamper banked in a 30-foot shot clock- beating three-pointer to highlight the Gophers’ strong start. Minnesota was 9-14 from the field and jumped out to a 23-8 lead 9:41 into the first half ” their biggest of the game.
But the Gophers (2-2) didn’t have the depth to outlast the Terrapins and lost 83-66 in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
“I think we’re potentially a pretty good team because we’ve some ways we can go now,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “I think this is the start of becoming a good basketball team.”
Maryland (5-1) chipped away at the lead and trailed by just six points at halftime, 42-36.
That lead diminished quickly, as things started to unravel for Minnesota in the second half.
Maryland opened the half with an alley-oop dunk by junior center Ekene Ibekwe.
The alley-oop started an 11-0 run for the Terrapins.
Minnesota coach Dan Monson’s jacket-tossing tirade during the run got him two technical fouls that sent him to locker room for the remainder of the game.
“I tell my team you have to fight, but you have to do it with composure,” Monson said. “I feel like when they needed me to fight the most, I wasn’t there. Getting kicked out of a game is a first for me and hopefully a last.”
The outburst didn’t slow Maryland, which added six more points to cap a 17-2 run before Minnesota made its first field goal of the half with just less than 16 minutes to play.
Fatigue was an obvious factor for the depleted Minnesota lineup. That lineup took another hit when senior guard Maurice Hargrow left the game for good after the first nine minutes of play in the first half.
With another guard out, the Terrapins took advantage and pressured the Gophers, forcing 22 turnovers on the night.
“They’re one of the better pressing teams in the country, and they run a lot of different defenses,” senior guard Adam Boone said. “When we had only one true ball-handler out there, that made it really tough.”
Maryland senior forward Travis Garrison led all scorers with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite missing multiple practices and Monday’s game against Gardner-Webb, sophomore forward Dan Coleman had a breakout night, leading Minnesota with 16 points. Stamper got his second career double-double with 13 points and a 12 boards.
Minnesota grabbed 20 offensive boards and outrebounded the Terrapins 43-31 on the night.
“Coach (Monson) told us that he wanted us to fight and battle. That was something we knew would help us,” Stamper said. “We rebound well as a team, and we’re going to keep doing that.”