The Maryland basketball team continued to struggle on the hardwood.
The Terrapins fell to Minnesota 68-63 on Thursday, despite leading late in the game.
Guard Rasheed Sulaimon scored a career-high 28 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 3:08 left in the game. Sulaimon got some room off a ball screen from forward Robert Carter and his shot gave Maryland a 60-59 lead.
However, the Golden Gophers outscored the Terps 9-3 over the final three minutes, including hitting nine of their 10 attempts at the free throw line. Over the course of the game, Minnesota shot 87 percent (20-of-23) from the charity stripe.
Carter and guard Melo Trimble combined to shoot just 6-of-23 from the field. Carter grabbed more rebounds (nine) than he scored points (eight) and Trimble only added 10 points on 11 field goal attempts.
Maryland did come out playing strong basketball in the early going.
The Terps went to Carter quite a bit early on as Carter scored four of the team’s first seven points. Trimble was also very aggressive early on and attempted four of Maryland’s first 10 shots.
Trimble managed to do a little bit of everything, despite his shot not falling at times.
Guarding Joey King was an issue for the Terrapins in the first half. King connected on three of his first four shots with his three makes being from beyond the arc to give the Golden Gophers a 16-10 advantage with 13:38 remaining in the opening half.
King finished the game with 15 points and six rebounds. The Drake transfer didn’t register another field goal for the rest of the contest.
Minnesota shot the basketball very well in the first half and jumped out to a 19-15 lead. The Golden Gophers made seven of their first 13 shots and five of those came from beyond the three-point line.
The Golden Gophers shot 46.7 percent (14-of-30) in the first half and seven of those successful field goals came from beyond the arc. Minnesota held Maryland scoreless over the final 2:23 of the half and took a 40-29 lead into the break.
Minnesota came out of the break very cold as they missed their first four shots. On the other hand, forward Jake Layman splashed home a three-pointer on Maryland’s first field goal attempt of the second half.
Layman’s long-range shot cut Minnesota’s lead to 40-32 with 19:11 left. It was of only two field goals for Layman in the second half.
With 13:03 remaining in the game, Maryland committed two very costly turnovers on back-to-back possessions. Guards Kevin Dorsey and Nate Mason converted layups on the fast break, which extended Minnesota’s advantage to 50-38.
Maryland responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 50-45 over a 2:08 stretch. Sulaimon scored four points over the course of the short outburst.
Minnesota managed to get their lead back up to seven points, but Maryland kept fighting to climb back into the game. Sulaimon scored 15 of Maryland’s final 20 points, but it wasn’t enough to put the Terps over the top.
The story of the game truly was Minnesota’s hot first half from the perimeter and Maryland getting behind by double digits. The Terps spent the entire second half trying to dig themselves out of a hole, but nearly did so with intense defensive pressure and solid rebounding.
Maryland will look to put a halt to their two-game skid on Sunday afternoon when Michigan comes to College Park for a matinee.