And that’s how the streak ends.
Maryland reserve guard Brene Moseley hit two tiebreaking free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining in regulation, lifting the No. 12 Terrapins to a 77-73 victory over the No. 23 Gophers women’s basketball team Sunday at Williams Arena.
Gone is the Gophers’ 10-game winning streak and its unbeaten record in the Big Ten. But also gone are the doubts of whether the Gophers (14-2, 3-1 Big Ten) can run with the conference’s best without injured star Rachel Banham.
Sophomore center Amanda Zahui B. turned in an impassioned performance, scoring 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting. She also had 15 rebounds and four blocks in 39 minutes, as the Gophers matched Maryland (13-2, 4-0) — a Final Four team a year ago — shot for shot down the stretch.
“I think that the gravity of this for our program in general is there. It’s enormous,” a visibly distraught Gophers coach Marlene Stollings said. “For us to come out here and compete with this team, shows and says a lot about our young ladies. The resolve, the grit, the toughness, the competitiveness — this team is solid.”
Gophers freshman Carlie Wagner played all 40 minutes and finished with 15 points. She shot just 6-for-16, but hit a critical three-pointer with 32 seconds remaining.
After Zahui hit baskets on back-to-back possessions to tie the score at 70-70 with 1:10 left, Lexie Brown drained a three-pointer that gave the Terrapins the lead.
Wagner answered 15 seconds later, hitting a three of her own from the corner to tie the score.
Maryland held for the last shot, eventually settling on a drive by Moseley. The 5-7 redshirt junior drove right at the 6-5 Zahui and drew the foul.
Moseley, who didn’t play in the first half, hit both free throws and scored 15 points in the final 14 minutes, lifting the Terrapins. Maryland coach Brenda Frese recorded a nationally televised victory in her first game back at The Barn since leaving the Gophers following the 2001-02 season.
In her lone season at the helm in Minneapolis, Frese led the Gophers to a 22-8 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA tournament, just a year after the team had gone 8-20.
Thirteen years later, the Gophers appear to be in the midst of another rebirth under a first-year coach. With Stollings implementing her high-octane offense, the Gophers are off to their best start in more than a decade and have earned their first Associated Press Top 25 ranking in nine seasons.
Frese said the Gophers are “one of the best” teams they’ve faced this season.
“What coach Stollings has done is amazing,” Frese said. “She’s really instilled confidence with the team, and a great system. There’s a reason why they’re [at the] top in the [Big Ten] standings. … You can see that they’ve bought in here with their first year with her.”
Behind a boisterous announced crowd of 5,468, the Gophers jumped to a 10-4 lead, as Maryland, the Big Ten’s highest-scoring team at 84.4 points per game entering Sunday, struggled to find its stroke.
The Gophers, who return to action Thursday at Ohio State, remained within striking distance all afternoon, but, ultimately, were done in by poor rebounding. Maryland racked up 19 offensive boards that led to 22 second-chance points.
Zahui said she felt her team proved Sunday that it can play with anyone.
“We just need to keep grinding,” she said.