In its last game of the regular season, Minnesota suffered a big loss to then-No. 2 Maryland. The Gophers were outplayed in multiple key areas in the 93-60 defeat on Sunday.
Head coach Marlene Stollings previously said they needed to play great defense to compete with the Terrapins.
The Gophers forced 21 turnovers, a season high for Maryland, but it wasn’t enough.
Guard Kenisha Bell was satisfied with how they got stops on defense, but they were missing the rebound piece. Maryland outrebounded Minnesota 46-30.
“We stopped them sometimes down the court,” Bell said. “We got one of the ranked teams in 21 turnovers, which is good, but rebounding was the next thing. Usually rebounds win games too.”
Minnesota (14-15, 5-11 Big Ten) struggled to score on offense. The Gophers couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities, and the Maryland defense didn’t make the task any easier.
Bell said Maryland made it difficult for them to get the shots they wanted.
“When we got past the guards up top, we would always run into the five man,” Bell said. “I think it made it harder for us to score over them because of how tall they are and how big they are.”
Bell led Minnesota with 18 points. The next highest was 10 from freshman Jasmine Brunson.
Carlie Wagner couldn’t get into a rhythm shooting the ball. She experienced one of those rare occasions where the ball didn’t go in for her.
Her 2-13 shooting performance and the 19-64 team total heavily contributed to the loss.
Maryland (27-2, 15-1 Big Ten) has too much firepower on offense to not generate points from your leading scorer and supporting cast.
The Terrapins shot 55 percent from the field while the Gophers shot 29.7 percent.
Maryland had strong first quarter shooting, which set the tone early. The Terrapins shot 10-14, contributing to a 26-12 lead over Minnesota.
“That first quarter dug quite a hole,” Stollings said. “I go back to us offensively not being able to score. I thought we got the types of looks that we were looking for. We didn’t necessarily finish well at the basket.”
Maryland made nearly half of its 3-point attempts, most of which were made by Shatori Walker-Kimbrough who shot 5-7 from the line.
Stollings said she is impressed with how well Walker-Kimbrough shoots the ball.
“You can see how many hours she has spent in the gym on her shooting,” Stollings said. “I mean she shoots incredible percentages from away from the basket; she’s so smooth.”
Minnesota has recently produced well from the free-throw line, but Maryland matched its production in that category.
Minnesota will look to move on from this result as they prepare for the Big Ten Tournament.
“We’re gonna go in there, and its 0-0 let’s try to get on a run,” Stollings said. “I mean that’s our only chance of continuing to play.”