January 02, 2015

Maryland came out a winner in its Big Ten debut despite its worst shooting performance of the season.

Seeking their best start in 18 seasons, the 12th-ranked Terrapins will try for a better showing in their first home game in their new conference Saturday against Minnesota.

Maryland shot 33.3 percent - 13.2 below its season mark - and went 4 of 22 on 3-pointers in its visit to Michigan State on Tuesday but left with a 68-66 double-overtime victory.

"Obviously that's a great win for us. I'm not sure how we did it to be honest with you," coach Mark Turgeon said.

Dez Wells provided a tying 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in regulation and scored 16 points in his second game back from a fractured right wrist. Maryland is 7-0 when he plays.

Leading scorer Melo Trimble had a team-best 17 points despite missing 11 of 13 shots, but he made a team-best 12 of 14 free throws. The Terps (13-1) made seven more foul shots than the Spartans with all of their 32 attempts coming after halftime. They also had a 52-36 rebounding advantage.

"The reason we've been effective in close games is because we have good players and we make free throws. Today we made free throws and that really helped," Turgeon said. "There is a lot of basketball left and we need to continue to win close games because we'll probably have a lot."

Maryland, which also opened 13-1 two seasons ago, looks for its first 14-1 start since 1996-97.  

The Terps will also try to improve to 5-0 all-time against Minnesota in their first meeting since a 68-58 road victory in the 2008 NIT's opening round. They are 2-0 at home in the series and will face the Golden Gophers in Maryland for the first time since an 83-66 win Nov. 30, 2005.

Minnesota heads to Maryland after falling in its Big Ten opener Wednesday, blowing an 11-point lead in the final 9 1/2 minutes in a 72-68 defeat at Purdue. The Gophers (11-3) had won a season-best eight in a row before their 17th loss in their past 21 road games.

They've dropped 16 of their last 18 league contests away from home. Maryland is 9-1 on its own floor this season with the lone loss coming to then-No. 7 Virginia, a team that's now ranked third and is 12-0.

Gophers leading scorer Andre Hollins, averaging 13.2 points, has been held to single digits in three straight games. He scored seven on a season-worst 2-of-10 shooting Wednesday. He had a season-high 27 points in Minnesota's previous road game, an 84-69 win over Wake Forest on Dec. 2, and needs six more to become the seventh player in program history with 1,500 career points.

Minnesota enters among the NCAA leaders in 3-point percentage (42.4), assists (19.9 per game), steals (11.9) and turnover margin (plus-6.6). The Gophers are third in the conference with 82.0 points per game.

Maryland, meanwhile, is allowing a league-low 37.1 percent shooting and 28.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Terps are giving up 61.5 points per game.

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