Preview: Maryland Looking to be “Road Warriors” Vs. Minnesota

Maryland (15-7, 6-5) vs. Minnesota (7-14, 1-10)

When: Saturday, February 4, 2023 @ 9 PM

Where: Williams Arena

TV: BTN

Radio: 105.7 (Baltimore); 980AM (DC)

Odds: Maryland -9.5

Maryland basketball took advantage of getting back inside the Xfinity Center to build a three-game win streak heading into February, but head coach Kevin Willard will be tasked with maintaining that momentum as they travel to face Minnesota on Saturday night.

Saturday will mark Willard’s first time ever facing the Gophers as second year head coach Ben Johnson will look to end his team’s six-game slide, but Maryland will have their own motivation in order to secure their fourth consecutive win. Maryland’s road woes have been well documented this season as the Terps enter the matchup just 1-5 away from Xfinity and finding a way to win on the road has been a point of emphasis through conference play.

“I know that coach says it a lot, that we have the toughest schedule. He actually showed us the other day so I think we all realized that we did,” guard Don Carey said after the Nebraska win. “The last two games we were at home so we realize we’ve got a strong homecourt advantage to capitalize off that. Really just taking this momentum and taking it on the road when that time comes, I think that’s a big step we’ve got to take and be road warriors and figure out how to win on the road, tough environments.”

Maryland has dominated the matchup all-time against the Gophers, 13-2, including winners of the last seven but will look to Saturday to bolster their standing on the bubble. The Terps are currently hovering between the eight and ten seed in NCAA Tournament projections, but even Willard knows his team has to maintain the same energy. “We’ve got to figure out how to win on the road,” Willard said following the Indiana win. “We’ve got to bring our defensive intensity, it’s got to travel with us.”

Minnesota is led by junior forward Jamison Battle, who averages 13.1 points per game, and guard Ta’Lon Cooper, who sits just one point shy of 1,000 career points. Still, the Gophers average the fewest points per game (61.8) in the Big Ten while allowing the third-most (68.7), though both teams sit in the bottom two in three-point shooting percentage. It’s a recipe for success for a Maryland team looking to win its sixth game in eight tries, but securing a road win on Saturday will give the team the needed jolt with a matchup against Michigan State right around the corner.

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