Instant Reactions: Maryland 81, Minnesota 46

Maryland basketball (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) dominated the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-15, 1-11 Big Ten) on the road to match their 2021 season win total. With this 81-46 win, the Terps have also won four straight games.

Four Terps scored in double figures Saturday night: Julian Reese (16 points, five rebounds, three assists), Jahmir Young (14 points, three rebounds), Donta Scott (13 points, six rebounds), and Ian Martinez (11 points).

Fast Starts in Both Halves Blows Game Open

Everybody knew that picking up a road win was the monkey that Maryland had desperately worked to get off its back, and the energy to kick off both halves matched the renewed focus. In a game where Maryland led for all 40 minutes, Donta Scott helped the Terps jump out to a five-point lead in the opening minutes before guiding the starters to their first double-digit lead ten minutes into the game. The Terps took full advantage of their ability to knock down shots with 7:39 left in the first half. They had a 30-11 lead and were shooting 67 percent from the field and 71 percent from the perimeter. Yes, you read that right. Seventy-one percent from the perimeter. While the Terps have shown signs of both extremes on the shooting scale, Maryland was red hot all night Scott led all scorers early with 11 points as he got going inside and out. The fullcourt defense gave Maryland a chance to swarm the Gophers, but the Terps tempo and hot shooting—including six three-pointers in the first half—helped them cruise through the first 20 minutes.

Maryland took a 20-point lead into halftime, their largest halftime lead in over four seasons, and carried that momentum into the opening minutes of the second half. Jahmir Young then contributed to the first seven points as Maryland opened the half on a 16-3 run to help put the game away early. Granted Minnesota entered the night as the conference cellar dweller and shorthanded, but in a must-win type of game, Maryland’s energy matched the importance of the game as they put the bow on their first conference win of the season.

Maryland Takes Care of the Basketball

Maryland’s swarming defense forced 16 Minnesota turnovers and the Gophers didn’t have any answer at any point in the game. Maryland, meanwhile, finished the game with just five turnovers in a telling tale on Saturday’s outcome. That helped Maryland turn the 16 turnovers into 23 points, emphasizing the Terps’ dominant fashion in the road victory as Jahmir Young was able to carve his way through the Gopher defense while the backcourt was able to stretch the floor all night. It wasn’t just taking care of the ball, though, as Maryland outscored the Gophers 40-22 in the paint and narrowly won the battle on the board, setting the stage for a dominanting win.

Maryland Closes The Game Getting Rest

With a second road game looming against Michigan State on Tuesday night, Willard leveraged the 40-point lead midway through the second half to empty his bench as Ike Cornish, Noah Batchelor, Caelum Swanton-Rodger and Jahari Long closed the game out with Brett Karkus making a late-game appearance. It’s a deserving ending for Maryland after taking advantage of the short-handed Gophers, but Willard’s ability to play all 15 players en route to the biggest conference road win since joining the Big Ten now gives Maryland a chance to climb the Big Ten standings.

With the win, Maryland moved into a tie with Indiana, Illinois and Iowa for third in the Big Ten as Willard continues to surpass expectations in year one. While Maryland looks to ride the four-game win streak into the meat of conference play, Saturday’s win could serve as the next confidence boost. The win was the largest road win for the Terps since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15. It was Maryland’s largest road conference win since winning at Clemson, 81-41 (+40) on Dec. 4, 1953, the Terps’ second-ever game in the ACC. With Minnesota scoring just 46 points, it was fewest the Terps have allowed in a Big Ten game since holding Nebraska to 45 on Feb. 6, 2019, which was the fewest in Big Ten for Terps.

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