Minnesota was in a perfect position on Wednesday night at Williams arena, ready to pick up a major upset win with the Big Ten tournament right around the corner.
Thanks to a massive rally and a game-winning shot, however, that upset never came to fruition.
No. 9 Maryland escaped from a 17-point hole to grab the 74-73 win in Minneapolis, thanks to a deep contested game-winning 3-pointer from Darryl Morsell with just 1.9 seconds left.
The Terps, after falling behind by 17 points just before halftime, mounted a huge 12-2 run late in the second half to get right back in the game. Then, with just 11 seconds left while down two points, Maryland gave it one last go.
Morsell, after their first few looks didn’t pan out, caught the ball well behind the arc less than a step inside the half-court logo. Expertly, with a Minnesota defender right in his face, Morsell rose up and drilled the bucket, lifting the Terps to the win.
“I work real hard on shooting the ball,” Morsell said. “I just believed in myself, my teammates believed in me … I was open, the clock was winding down and I practice shooting all the time. So I just believed in it and it went in by the grace of God.”
Daniel Oturu led Minnesota with 28 points and 11 rebounds while shooting an impressive 10-of-13 from the floor. Marcus Carr added 19 points. They were the only two Gophers to score in double figures.
Jalen Smith led Maryland with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Aaron Wiggins added 16 points off the bench. Morsell finished the night with 13 points and nine rebounds, giving the Terps their 10th win in 11 games.
They’ll next take on No. 24 Michigan State on Saturday, where a win will give them at least a share of the Big Ten title.
“Everything went wrong tonight,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “They had a guy whose made seven threes all year, he made three of his first four. It felt like nothing went our way all night. We never quit, we never quit until he missed two front end one-and-ones. And then Darryl had guts enough to step up and shoot it … This is who we are, man. We don’t ever quit. The guys believe they’re going to win. It’s just a hell of a win for us.”
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