Yes, the Gophers women's basketball team is aware of the issue.
Coach Lindsay Whalen has talked about it. She has changed practices to simulate a halftime break so her team can work on carrying over energy from the first half to the second.
Still, it's a problem.
Thursday at Williams Arena, against ninth-ranked Maryland, the highest-scoring team in the Big Ten Conference, the Gophers stayed with them in a high-scoring first half — perhaps the team's best half of basketball this season.
But it didn't carry over. Down 50-43 at halftime, Minnesota was outscored 26-14 in the third quarter and never recovered in a 90-73 loss to the Terrapins.
"I can't put my finger on it right now," Whalen said of the team's third-quarter blues. "But we'll get it figured out. All we can do is keep working, finding ways."
The Gophers (2-7 overall, 1-6 in conference) shot better than 50 % in the first half and made half their three-pointers. But in the critical third quarter, they went 4-for-14. Up 19 points after three, Maryland (10-1, 6-0) extended that lead to 27 early in the fourth.
But Thursday's results probably had more to do with Maryland, which has a deep rotation with balance scoring and a defense that helped turn 16 Gophers turnovers into 24 points.
Still, there were good signs. Gophers sophomore guard Jasmine Powell was fearless, scoring 22 points with eight assists and seven rebounds. Afterward, Maryland (and former Gophers) coach Brenda Frese said Powell was the best player on the floor.
Sara Scalia had 14 points and Klarke Sconiers had 13.
The Gophers trailed by eight after one quarter, but outscored Maryland 26-25 in an entertaining second quarter in which Sconiers and Scalia each scored eight and Powell had six points and four assists.
But Maryland, which used a three-quarter-court press much of the game, adjusted in the second half, going with more man-to-man defense to try to get the ball out of Powell's hands.
Diamond Miller scored 10 of her 23 points in the third quarter and Katie Benzan had eight of her 20 as Maryland took over the game. Chloe Bibby (22 points) was the third Terrapins starter with 20 or more points.
"They turned up their man [defense], which we hadn't seen a ton of," Whalen said. "That says a little about Powell that they were trying to get the ball out of her hands. They gave us some different looks, mixed it up on us."
The Gophers have now lost three in a row since winning in overtime at Wisconsin.
Minnesota next plays at Nebraska on Tuesday against a Huskers team that has won three of its past four games, including an 68-64 upset at 23rd-ranked Michigan State.
It won't get easier.
"We have to finish plays with rebounds, we have to get to loose balls," Whalen said. "We have to limit our turnovers."
They also have to keep working on those third quarters.
"We have to come out and punch them first [in the second half]," Scalia said. "And go from there. Our biggest thing is starting the second half strong."