MINNEAPOLIS — Just over three minutes into the second half of Maryland’s matchup with Minnesota on Sunday night, the officials whistled forward Julian Reese for his fourth personal foul. The Terrapins were ahead by double digits at the time, but the absence of by far their most reliable interior presence drastically altered the game.
With its second-leading scorer sitting for more than eight minutes and star point guard Jahmir Young suffering through an uncommonly poor shooting performance, shorthanded Maryland collapsed on the way to a 65-62 loss at Williams Arena, its second defeat in a row and its first in 11 games in the series.
Young scored a game-high 20 points but finished 5 for 17 from the field, including 1 for 5 on three-pointers. The fifth-year senior, who has been limited in practice while recovering from an illness, committed a game-high five of his team’s 17 turnovers, the most this season for the Terps (9-6, 1-3 Big Ten).
Reese had 14 points and nine rebounds but fouled out in the final minute after the Golden Gophers (12-3, 3-1) had essentially secured the outcome with a 6-0 run for a 55-47 lead with 4:37 to go. Minnesota had gone ahead to stay at 47-45 on a three-pointer by Elijah Hawkins (DeMatha) at the shot-clock buzzer with 8:28 to play.
“[Reese] getting his fourth foul really changed the momentum of the game just because it took away a lot of what we were doing,” Maryland Coach Kevin Willard said. “You know, working through him, I thought he had gotten into a good groove again. After two tough games, I thought he had found his groove again. He looked like the same Julian.”
Donta Scott added 14 points and six rebounds for the Terps, who shot 38 percent and made just 4 of 12 three-point attempts.
“I would say that contributed a lot,” Young said of Reese’s foul trouble. “But we can’t blame it all on that. The guys on the floor have to perform. I feel like it was just transition defense. We didn’t shoot the ball well from three, and they shot it well from deep in the second half, which really hurt.”
Breakdowns in Maryland’s perimeter defense let Minnesota creep within 38-35 with 14:19 to play, prompting Willard to use his first timeout of the second half. A little more than two minutes later, the Terps’ lead vanished when Hawkins (10 points, nine assists) connected on a deep three-pointer that tied the score at 40 with 11:59 left.
Following a first half in which it matched its season high for turnovers in a game (15), Maryland still led 29-22 at halftime thanks to a 6-0 burst that ended with Scott’s short jumper. The Terps were able to craft a lead in large part because they limited the Gophers to 1-for-14 shooting from beyond the arc.
For the second time in three games, Maryland fielded a compromised roster. This time, Jahari Long, a top reserve, was unavailable because of a lower-body injury. The senior guard did not travel with the team to the Twin Cities, the site of its only Big Ten road victory last season.
Long had filled in admirably for Young in the Terps’ final game of 2023, scoring a career-best 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting during a 75-53 victory over visiting Coppin State on Dec. 28. Young sat out that game while recovering from the remnants of flu-like symptoms that developed shortly before Christmas.
Young was part of a sloppy start for Maryland, which committed four turnovers on its first five possessions but nonetheless managed a 14-0 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 23-12 lead with 9:13 to play in the half. The lead dwindled when the Terps began producing empty possessions. Minnesota took advantage by reeling off eight straight points, capped by Braeden Carrington’s three-pointer to cut it to 23-20.
“Not having Jahari put some guys out there in different positions, although I thought they did well,” said Willard, who gave additional minutes to freshman reserves Jamie Kaiser Jr. and Jahnathan Lamothe, among others. “I think that caused us a little bit of indecision on the offensive end early.”