Minnesota ends losing streak with court storming

The Gophers won their first game in the Big Ten with a 68-63 victory over No. 6 Maryland Thursday night.

by Ryan Falk

The Gophers two month losing streak ended with a court storming.

Minnesota upset No. 6 Maryland 68-63 in front of a crowd of 10,768 Thursday night at Williams Arena, picking up the team’s first Big Ten win and its first victory in its past 15 games.

“[The court storming] was a blur for a minute there,” senior forward Joey King said. “The fans stuck with us all year. There was a lot of people there tonight and they were able to experience a great win.”

Sophomore guard Nate Mason led the team with 18 points. Freshman forward Jordan Murphy added 17 and grabbed 11 rebounds, and King scored 15 points.

The Gophers (7-19, 1-13) were aggressive in the first half, attacking the Maryland defense from behind the arc.

Minnesota made seven three-pointers in the first half and shot 46.7 percent from the field.

Maryland shot only 35.5 percent in the first half and the team’s best player, sophomore guard Melo Trimble, had only three points before halftime.

“We did a good job of shrinking the court,” head coach Richard Pitino said. “Trimble’s a really good player he was a little off today with some of his turnovers, but hopefully some of that was our defense.”

The Terrapins trailed 40-29 at halftime but clawed their way back into the game in the second half. Maryland took the lead with under three minutes remaining.

The Gophers didn’t let another game get away from them though. The team took the lead back to secure its first conference win.

“It’s insane how many close losses we’ve had in two years,” Pitino said. “[Winning close games] comes down to one or two plays and we found a way to make them tonight against a very good team.”