Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Maryland Terrapins Pick & Prediction JANUARY 7th 2024


Minnesota’s potent offense looks to keep rolling when the surging Golden Gophers clash with Maryland on Sunday in Minneapolis.

Winners of six straight games, Minnesota (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten) has flourished behind its quartet of double-digit scorers.

Forward Dawson Garcia delivers 17.2 points per game and excels at the free throw line, where he’s made 53 of 63 attempts (84.1 percent) this season. Joshua Ola-Joseph supplies 10.7 points as the Golden Gophers’ other formidable forward, while guards Mike Mitchell Jr. and Cam Christie average 11.8 and 10.5 points, respectively.

Those four combined for 45 points in Minnesota’s 73-71 win at Michigan on Thursday, but Elijah Hawkins was Minnesota’s X-factor.

The Howard transfer bundled 14 points with seven assists, including a crucial dish to Ola-Joseph that gave the Golden Gophers a two-possession edge with 36 seconds left.

Hawkins’ 7.7 assists per game ranked second in Division I entering Saturday, and coach Ben Johnson has embraced his new guard’s production.

“(Hawkins) is rolling and we’re running his way,” said Johnson, per Sports Illustrated. “He’s made really good plays. The game’s slowed down for him. He’s a big factor of why we’re being successful right now.”

Minnesota is averaging 81.2 points per game during its winning streak, but the Terrapins (9-5, 1-2) surrender 63.6 points and have not allowed over 76 in a game this season.

Maryland even limited No. 1 Purdue on Tuesday to its lowest point total this season, but the Terrapins’ offensive woes doomed them in their 67-53 loss in College Park, Md.

Jahmir Young’s game-high 26 points did little to atone for Maryland’s 33.3 percent shooting night from the field, which included a dreary 5 of 22 (22.7 percent) mark from 3-point range.

The Terrapins shoulder the Big Ten’s second-lowest field goal percentage (40.9) and the lowest 3-point percentage (27.2), and coach Kevin Willard is running out of answers for his team’s shooting struggles.

“We missed seven wide-open threes in the first half,” said Willard after the Purdue game. ” … I don’t know how much more we can do when you get a wide-open shot. I’ll try to put a new play in to get a wide, wide, wide-open shot. Maybe that would help.”

Young averages 19.8 points and 3.8 assists to lead Maryland, which has won 10 straight over the Golden Gophers.

–Field Level Media

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