#12 Terps Surge Past Minnesota in B1G Home Opener

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP)Melo Trimble scored 20 points, and No. 12 Maryland used a strong defensive performance to beat Minnesota 70-58 on Saturday in the Terrapins' inaugural Big Ten home game.

Dez Wells added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and sophomore Damonte Dodd had a career-high 12 rebounds for the Terrapins (14-1, 2-0), who have won seven straight. Maryland is off to its best start since the 1996-97 season when it also went 14-1.

Trimble went 9-for-13 at the foul line with five rebounds in front of a season-high crowd of 15,788 at XFINITY Center.

Although the Terrapins never trailed after the opening three minutes, Minnesota (11-4, 0-2) kept it close deep into the second half. But Maryland held the Golden Gophers to a mere 33.8 percent from the floor and a season-low 58 points. Minnesota was averaging 82 points per game entering the game. The Terps held a stout rebounding advantage, 44-35.

Maryland was nursing a 41-35 lead when Dodd swatted away a shot by Joey King. Trimble followed with a layup on the other end, and a basket by Jake Layman gave the Terrapins a 10-point cushion. Layman finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

That was part of a 9-0 run that made it 47-35 with 13:50 left.

The Gophers closed to 53-46 before Wells scored off his own miss and sank two foul shots for an 11-point lead with 7:27 remaining.

Minnesota never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

The victory capped a memorable first week of Big Ten play for the Terrapins, who beat Michigan State on the road in double overtime Tuesday.

“Obviously, I am pleased with the win," head coach Mark Turgeon said. "I thought the crowd was terrific. Our defense was really good and we had one really good offensive spurt where everything was clicking. The only bad part of the game was their run in the first half. We talked about relaxing and playing better at the half and in the second half we still played really well by getting to the line and shooting less three-pointers."

A first half that featured a significant run by each team ended with the Terrapins up 36-33.

Jared Nickens, Richaud Pack and Dion Wiley all hit three-pointers during a 17-2 spurt that made it 32-17. Minnesota went scoreless for more than four minutes while Maryland ran off 12 consecutive points.

Deandre Mathieu stopped the Gophers' drought with a jumper, and Walker made three straight layups during a 13-0 run that cut the gap to 32-30.

The Terps return to action when they hit the road for a game at Illinois on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST on the Big Ten Network.