COLLEGE PARK, M.D. -- Four of the six Gophers losses in the Big Ten this season have come against freshmen-laden teams Michigan State, Penn State and Maryland.
For Michigan State, it was Nick Ward and Miles Bridges that dominated in two wins. Penn State’s Mike Watkins and Tony Carr made the plays in the end of a comeback victory against Minnesota.
But Maryland’s Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan made the biggest impact of any group of freshmen against the Gophers, combining for 55 points in the 85-78 win Jan. 28 in Minneapolis.
Jackson had 19 of his 28 points in the second half. Huerter had 12 of his 19 points in the second half. They shot 10-for-12 from three-point range combined. Cowan had eight points, five assists and two steals.
The Gophers led by 12 points in the first half against Maryland and 33-26 at halftime at the Barn. But the Terrapins scored 59 points in the second half, which included 38 points from their starting freshmen trio.
Limiting Maryland’s freshmen won’t be easy Wednesday night, but that could go a long way to giving the Gophers a chance to pull off the upset against the No. 24 Terrapins at XFINITY Center.
It would also help coach Richard Pitino if his freshmen made a significant contribution as well. In the last meeting against Maryland, Minnesota’s Amir Coffey, Eric Curry and Michael Hurt struggled shooting just 5-for-15 combined. But Coffey had a season-high nine assists. Curry grabbed 10 rebounds.
If history repeats itself, then the team that has the most production from freshmen Wednesday will probably come away with a victory.
Maryland: Justin Jackson 10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg; Anthony Cowan 10.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.7 apg; Kevin Huerter 8.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.4 apg
Minnesota: Amir Coffey 12.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.2 spg; Eric Curry 6.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg