MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nate Mason had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists to help Minnesota get its first Big Ten win of the season with a stunning 68-63 upset of No. 6 Maryland on Thursday night.
Jordan Murphy added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Joey King had 15 points and six boards for Minnesota (7-19, 1-13), which shot just 33 percent.
Rasheed Sulaimon scored 28 points for Maryland (22-5, 10-4), which has lost consecutive games thanks to another listless performance. Melo Trimble had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting and the Terrapins turned the ball over 15 times.
The Williams Arena crowd stormed the court when time expired to celebrate Minnesota’s first Big Ten regular season win since beating Michigan State on Feb. 26, 2015.
The Gophers have slogged through a miserable season in coach Richard Pitino’s third year on the job, sinking lower and lower with each defeat and turning the once-magical Williams Arena into a lifeless building with thousands of empty seats.
The Barn, as they call it, used to shake on nights like this, when a highly ranked opponent would come in to face an undermanned Gophers team, and the sheer volume combined with the raised court was usually good for four or five points on Minnesota’s behalf. Those days are gone, and the Gophers have morphed from a team that you never wanted to see on the schedule to a welcome respite amid the rigors of the Big Ten season.
That all changed Thursday night, if only for one game.
The Gophers hit 7 of 10 3-point attempts in the first 10 minutes of the game to build an 11-point lead, and the Terrapins played like a team that looked at Minnesota’s record and figured showing up would be enough. Trimble missed seven of his first eight shots, the Terrapins gave up wide open shots on the perimeter one after another and hit only 35 percent in the first half to give the Gophers life.
Mason and McBrayer scored on consecutive steals for a 12-point lead with 12:30 to play in the game, and the noise in the arena started to take its toll.
The first “Over-rated!” chants started to ring around the 10-minute mark, and that’s when Sulaimon got going. He scored nine points in a 12-4 burst that cut the deficit to four points with just over 7 minutes to play.
The Terrapins were coming off a lackluster performance in a home loss to Wisconsin and were playing without freshman Diamond Stone, who was suspended one game for a hard foul of a Badgers player in that loss.
Maryland led 60-59 with 3 minutes to play, but King, Mason and Murphy hit free throws down the stretch to hold off the Terrapins.
Maryland: it’s the first time this season the Terps have lost two straight games. … Jake Layman was the only other Terrapin in double figures with 11 points.
Minnesota: This was the first game since senior Carlos Morris, the team’s fourth-leading scorer, was kicked off the team for conduct detrimental to the team. … After the Gophers’ hot start from 3 they hit just 1 of their next 12 and finished 8 for 23.
Maryland: Hosts Michigan on Sunday.
Minnesota: Hosts Rutgers on Tuesday.
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