Darryl Morsell drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left for No. 9 Maryland, capping a comeback from a 16-point halftime deficit to beat Minnesota 74-73 on Wednesday night.
Jalen Smith had 16 points and 12 rebounds, including a soaring rebound and slam with 14.5 seconds remaining that pulled the Terrapins within 73-71. Gabe Kalscheur short-armed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 12 seconds to go for the Gophers, who missed three foul shots in the final 39 seconds. Then the Terrapins hustled the ball up to find Morsell, who had 13 points and nine rebounds, for the winner from NBA range.
Aaron Wiggins scored 16 points and Anthony Cowan Jr. had 10 points, nine assists and six rebounds for Maryland (23-5, 13-4), which maintained a two-game lead for first place in the Big Ten with three games to go.
Daniel Oturu had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Carr added 19 points and seven assists for Minnesota (13-14, 7-10), which saw its NCAA Tournament hope all but disappear with a third straight excruciating home defeat.
The Terrapins missed seven of eight shots in the closing stretch, until Smith’s dunk. Missing 12 of their first 13 tries from 3-point range, they trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half and still by 16 points with 15:55 to go on Kalscheur’s 3-pointer that made it 54-38.
The Gophers, who faltered late in their last two home contests against Iowa and Indiana by, let another opponent climb back in the game with a shooting dropoff and some unforced turnovers. Wiggins intercepted a cross-court pass by Carr and went the other way for a one-handed slam, bringing Maryland within 66-62. That was the closest the Terrapins had been since 6-4.
Oturu made two free throws to push the lead back to 72-64 with 2:06 left, but Wiggins answered with a 3-pointer. Kalscheur fouled Cowan, who made two foul shots to bring Maryland within 72-69 with 45 seconds to go, and a backcourt turnover by Minnesota under heavy pressure gave the Terrapins the chance to tie.
Smith’s 3-pointer clanged off the rim, and Kalscheur grabbed the rebound. He made one of two free throws and blocked Cowan’s shot on the other end with 29 seconds left, seemingly putting the Gophers in safe mode.