Minnesota started without one of its best guards and finished without the other one, too. Not the way a team wants to face the highest-scoring team in women’s basketball.
Off guard Sara Scalia missed the game because of non-COVID illness, and point guard Jasmine Powell left the game after rolling her left ankle late in the second half and the Gophers were overwhelmed by ninth-ranked Maryland, 94-62.
Point guard Ashley Owusu scored 24 points to lead four Terrapins players in double-figure scoring as Maryland swept the season series from Minnesota.
Kadi Sissoko was the lone bright spot for Minnesota, scoring a game-high 16 points to go with seven rebounds. Playing power forward and wing, she scored primarily on driving layups.
“I liked her game,” Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen said. “I like it when she plays with a head of steam.”
The other 10 Gophers who played made at least one field goal, but none scored more than six points (Gadiva Hubbard, Caroline Strande).
Diamond Miller added 20 points, Katie Benzen 17 and Chloe Bibby 10 for Maryland (16-2, 12-1 Big Ten), which shot 52.7 percent from the field and scored two points more than their nation-leading 92-point average.
“They have players that can do pretty much everything on the court,” Sissoko said. “They can shoot, they can drive, they can post up.”
The Terrapins used a three-quarter press to force three early turnovers, spurring a 10-0 run that quickly erased a 5-0 Gophers lead, then closed out the opening quarter with a 14-4 run. The Gophers never got closer than that.
The loss dropped Minnesota (7-11, 6-10) to 1-9 against the nine teams ahead of them in the Big Ten. The one win was against Nebraska, which comes to Minneapolis on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tipoff at Williams Arena.
Powell left the game after appearing to hurt her left ankle on a drive with 3 minutes, 55 seconds left in the first half and never returned. Asked if the sophomore aggravated an injury that has been bothering her for weeks, Whalen said, “It looked like it.”
“She was obviously a little gimpy and we had to help her off the floor, so we’ll just see when we get back and can evaluate her,” the coach added.
Scalia, the team’s most consistent 3-point shooter, never played. Whalen said she learned the sophomore would be unavailable on Saturday morning before the 11 a.m. tip.
Whalen said she couldn’t speculate on whether Scalia would be able to play Thursday against Nebraska.
“She was just unavailable today,” she said. “That’s it.”