Few teams in the country have been as dominant at home this season as No. 17 Minnesota.
On the other hand, few teams in the country have earned two signature wins on the road as Maryland has done.
The teams will pit their home and road success against each other Saturday when Maryland (8-7, 2-6 Big Ten) faces Minnesota (11-4, 4-4) in Minneapolis.
Minnesota is unbeaten at home this season, going 11-0 at Williams Arena, a streak that has included wins over Top-10 foes Iowa and Michigan.
All four of Minnesota’s losses have been on the road in lopsided fashion.
Minnesota’s most recent game might have been its most impressive of the season, however, as the Golden Gophers manhandled previously unbeaten Michigan 75-57 at Williams Arena on Jan. 16.
Minnesota was supposed to play at Nebraska on Wednesday, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Cornhuskers’ program.
“Our response has been great after the games this season, but our response has to get better during the games,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said after the win over Michigan. “We’re not going to win every game by any means, but we shouldn’t be losing by some of the margins that we’ve lost in those games. It’s just been weird.
“We’ve had so many phenomenal performances, whether it’s (Michigan), Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, but we gotta have a little better resolve throughout the course of a game.”
Minnesota is led in scoring by one of the Big Ten’s top playmaking guards, Marcus Carr, who is averaging 20.6 points and 5.5 assists per game.
What’s really aided Minnesota lately has been the development of Liam Robbins, an offseason transfer from Drake. Robbins is averaging 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds while patrolling the lane.
On the other side, Maryland has been inconsistent and is mired in 12th place in the conference standings. The Terrapins, however, have scored two impressive road wins in Big Ten play — against then-No. 6 Wisconsin and then-No. 12 Illinois — so they likely won’t be intimidated by Minnesota’s gaudy home record.
Just like Minnesota, Maryland played its most recent game was against the Wolverines, although the result was different: The Terrapins lost 87-63 on Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“I just wish we would’ve shot a little better, and if we made a few more layups, made a few more open threes and made our free throws, maybe we could’ve competed a little bit more,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “Maybe then our defense would’ve been a little better.”
The Terrapins have a balanced scoring attack led by Eric Ayala (13.8 points per game), Donta Scott (12.9) and Aaron Wiggins (12.5).
Earning another road win at Minnesota could be a good springboard for Maryland to climb in the league standings, given the Terrapins will play four of their next five games at home afterward.
–Field Level Media