Blowout loss ends regular season

Maryland handed the Gophers their worst loss in the Big Ten on Sunday.

Gophers guard Joanna Hedstrom runs the ball at Williams Arena on Wednesday.

Kathryn Chlystek, Daily File Photo

Gophers guard Joanna Hedstrom runs the ball at Williams Arena on Wednesday.

Kaitlin Merkel

The Gophers endured their worst defeat in the last game of the regular season.
 
 
Minnesota lost to No. 6 Maryland on the road Sunday 110-77, with the Terrapins setting a season-high for points scored.
 
 
Maryland shot 57.5 percent from the floor in the game while the Gophers were held to 38.6 percent shooting.
 
 
Minnesota (19-10, 11-7 Big Ten) never held a lead and the Terrapins outscored the team in each of the four quarters.
 
 
“Credit to Maryland. I thought that they came out with … high energy,” head coach Marlene Stollings said in a press conference after the game in College Park, Md.
 
 
“[They’re] just a well-oiled machine, and they’re very explosive. And it really put us back on our heels, and we never really recovered.”
 
 
Redshirt senior guard Rachel Banham scored 26 points, and junior guard Joanna Hedstrom scored 21 points in the loss. Sophomore guard Carlie Wagner was the only other Minnesota player to reach double-digit scoring with 17 points.
 
 
Hedstrom’s 21 points set a new career-high.
 
 
“As far as my role goes, it felt good today to step up and hit threes when we needed them,” Hedstrom said on the radio station 1500 ESPN after the game.
 
 
Maryland’s strong front court overpowered the Gophers in the blowout. Senior forward Tierney Pfirman scored a career-high 29 points, and junior center Brionna Jones added 24.
 
 
“We know [Pfirman] is a very capable scorer, a very dangerous scorer, especially at the power forward position,” Stollings said in a press conference after the game. “We were very aware that she could catch and shoot from anywhere … but we were just delayed in our coverages to her.”
 
 
The Terrapins (27-3, 16-2 Big Ten) also outrebounded Minnesota 53-23 in the game. The 23 rebounds were the fewest the Gophers have recorded in a game this season.
 
 
Minnesota also did not stick to its defensive game plan and handled the ball poorly, Banham said.
 
 
“We had some really uncharacteristic turnovers and that led to a lot of really easy layups and that was kind of killing us,” Banham said in a press conference after the game.
 
 
“We talked about defending penetration and defending the 3-point line, and they scored from both of those, so we didn’t so a very good job of that. We didn’t stay disciplined to what we were supposed to do.”
 
 
The Gophers earned the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament after the loss. 
 
 
The team will play Thursday in Indianapolis against the winner of the game between 12th-seeded Northwestern and 13th-seeded Wisconsin.
 
 
Minnesota’s last three games of the regular season were against the tournament’s top-three seeds in Michigan State, Ohio State, and Maryland.
 
 
“We are where we are, so we’re going to go back and regroup,” Stollings said in a press conference after the game. “I believe we’re tournament-practiced, if you will, having gone against the best here at the very end.”