Turnovers, foul trouble prove costly for Maryland men’s basketball in 65-62 loss to Minnesota | TAKEAWAYS

Maryland men’s basketball’s personal run of success against Minnesota ran out.

The Terps’ 10-game winning streak against the Golden Gophers ended as the latter overcame a 10-point deficit early in the second half to pull out a 65-62 victory Sunday night at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

Fifth-year senior point guard Jahmir Young scored a game-high 20 points and compiled eight rebounds, two assists and two steals, but Maryland (9-6, 1-3 Big Ten) dropped its second game in row after falling to No. 1 Purdue, 67-53, on Tuesday night. Junior power forward Julian Reese added 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks before fouling out in the final minute of regulation, and fifth-year senior small forward Donta Scott chipped in 14 points and six rebounds.

Freshman shooting guard Cam Christie led a balanced Minnesota offense with 12 points and four rebounds. Junior power forward Dawson Garcia contributed 11 points, six rebounds and three steals, while junior point guard Elijah Hawkins and sophomore small forward Joshua Ola-Joseph scored 10 points each.

Hawkins also registered nine assists and six steals to propel the Golden Gophers (12-3, 3-1) to their best start in the conference since the 2016-17 season. They defeated the Terps in Minneapolis for the first time since Feb. 18, 2016, when that squad emerged with a 68-63 victory.

Here are three observations from Sunday night’s loss.

Julian Reese’s foul trouble was the turning point

Maryland was reminded just how important the 6-foot-9, 230-pound junior power forward is.

Through the first few minutes of the second half, Reese had compiled 11 points and six rebounds as the Terps owned a 32-24 advantage. But then in a span of 39 seconds, he picked up his third and fourth personal fouls of the game, earning himself a seat on the bench with 16:50 left in the period.

The Randallstown native and St. Frances graduate’s absence opened the door for Minnesota, which embarked on a 21-11 run and overtook the Terps for a 47-45 lead with 8:28 remaining. That marked the Golden Gophers’ first lead since the score was 12-11.

Reese returned to the game with 8:15 left in the second half and added three points and three rebounds to finish with 14 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 22.9 seconds remaining. That marked a dramatic departure from his zero-point, 0-for-4 showing in Tuesday night’s loss to Purdue, his first game without a point since March 10, 2022.

But the specter of a fifth foul that would have disqualified him for the rest of the game forced Reese to avoid crashing the boards and being as aggressive as he usually is, and 6-11, 220-pound sophomore center Caelum Swanton-Rodger (zero points, one rebound, one turnover and three fouls) isn’t ready to compete with the big men of the Big Ten.

Young has been Maryland’s most valuable player. But Reese proved that his presence is just as significant.

Turnovers prevented Maryland from enjoying a bigger cushion in the first half

The Terps picked a poor time to fail to protect the ball.

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They finished the game with a season-worst 17 turnovers, surpassing their previous high of 16 giveaways set in an 81-75 overtime victory over Penn State on Dec. 6. Fifteen of those errors occurred in the first 20 minutes alone.

At one point during the first half, a camera from the Big Ten Network, which broadcast the game, captured coach Kevin Willard asking his players to peer at the black uniforms they were wearing and loudly imploring them to pass the ball to their teammates in those same black jerseys.

Young committed a game-high five turnovers, just one shy of a season worst registered in that win against the Nittany Lions. One has to wonder if Young was trying to do a little too much with backup senior point guard Jahari Long unavailable to play after suffering an unspecified injury during Friday’s practice.

Maryland turned over the ball only twice in the second half, which was a welcomed sight. But if the team had been more careful with the ball in the first half, maybe it would have enjoyed a larger lead and could have been better prepared to weather the absence of Reese in the second.

Maryland’s productivity is limited to its starters

The absence of Long loomed large in Sunday night’s loss.

Long had averaged 5.6 points this season. More importantly, he is another trusted ball handler for the Terps, and he can give Young a few minutes of much-needed rest.

Without Long, Maryland got seven points from freshman small forward Jamie Kaiser Jr., and that was it. Freshman shooting guard Jahnathan Lamothe, a Baltimore native and St. Frances graduate who followed Kaiser as the second player off the bench, scored zero points and finished with just as many turnovers (two) as rebounds. And sophomore shooting guard Noah Batchelor joined Lamothe and Swanton-Rodger as players who failed to make a dent in the scoring column.

The lack of depth on the bench is another reminder of how important it is for Reese and Young to stay out of foul trouble and stay healthy. Any prolonged absences for either player is a recipe for disaster.

Michigan at Maryland

Thursday, 7 p.m.


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