Ohio State Shells Maryland Behind Big Nights From Ross and Thompson

By Kyle Rowland on December 4, 2013 at 8:43p
Slam went off for Ohio State

So much for that shooting slump.

After being mired in a season-long nosedive that lasted four games, LaQuinton Ross has busted out in a big way. First came a 17-point effort last week against North Florida, then the Ohio State forward delivered 20 points against Maryland on Wednesday, just two shy of his career high.

Ross made his first four three-point attempts en route to the Buckeyes’ 76-60 win over the Terrapins in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Fifth-ranked Ohio State improved to 7-0 on the season.

“LaQuinton slowed things down in his mind and that allows him to do a lot more offensively,” Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said. “Just the look in his face and the fact he wants to be coached is what makes a difference.”

Ross had only 10 field goals in the first four games this season and went through a 2 for 20 stretch until the past two games, when he connected on 13-of-22 shot attempts for 37 points. In the first 20 minutes against the Terrapins, Ross missed just two of eight shots from the field and scored 17 points.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was in attendance at Value City Arena as the Buckeyes welcomed future conference foe Maryland to campus. They were rude hosts, though, building a 43-26 halftime lead by pestering Maryland into 10 turnovers, which led to 18 points at the other end. Ohio State shot 54 percent in the first half and 52 percent for the game. It limited the Terps to 39 percent shooting one game after Maryland shot 62 percent from the field.

“I thought Ohio State was terrific,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “They came out making shots and they got a lot of confidence off of that. I thought they executed at a high level. Craft was in total control of the game on both ends of the floor, and they made shots. We didn’t make shots tonight.”

Sam Thompson scored 14 points on what seemed like seven dunks, Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 12 points and Aaron Craft finished with 10 points, six assists and five steals. From a defensive standpoint, the Buckeyes have 51 steals on the season and opponents have recorded 50 assists.

“No matter how well we are shooting the ball, no matter how well we are playing offensively, we will always be a team that hangs on our defense,” Thompson said. “Anytime our defense is clicking like that and we are able to get easy layups and transitions off of our defense, it really gets us into a flow offensively.”

Ohio State held an 11-point lead with 1:30 left in the first half before closing with a flurry of activity. An 8-0 run to end the half included a Craft steal and assist to Thompson for a layup as time expired.

“It started with Aaron,” Matta said. “I called the timeout and told the guys we could get a little risky and turn up the pressure.”

A five-day layoff between games could have cooled off the Buckeyes’ shooters, but it appeared the lull had no effect. Ohio State roared out of the gate, scoring 18 points in the first six minutes and using a 15-3 run to build a double-digit lead. It never trailed by fewer than 12 points in the second half. 

“We just wanted to come out and not have a slow start,” Craft said. “LaQuinton helped out a lot with his early shots, which relaxes everyone else and gets us going.”

The Buckeyes host Central Connecticut State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised by BTN.

Bonus: All three of Sam Thompson's alley-oops from tonight.


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bigbadbuck's picture

I know they mentioned something about Amir getting hit in the head or face.   Is he ok?

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

RadioTrash1189's picture

He came back in the game late.

A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

Zimmy07's picture

For Amir no blood - no foul doesn't even apply.  That dude gets hacked & no whistle more than anyone I've seen.

TilstheHun3's picture

Who will have the longer winning streak, the football team or basketball team? Nice job on another win! It's a great time to be a Buckeye, like always.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

Seth4Bucks's picture

Glad to see the win. But ouch on the rebounding deficit. I didn't watch the game but what's up with giving up 19 offensive rebounds to the Terrapins?

Tim's picture

It looked like a lack of boxing out combined with what seemed like some bad luck on 50/50 balls.  Maryland has good size overall, though, so a lot of credit definitely has to go to them.

RedStorm45's picture

Got sloppy in the 2nd half.  Slam should be featured on SportsCenter.
Need to box out.  The rebounding was pathetic.

chowoon97's picture

Poor free throw shooting and rebounding. Should get better.
Defense is so good.

ATXbucknut's picture

Quote of the night:

OSUEXT's picture

Between his personality and coaching skills, It's hard to beat Coach Matta. 

otrain2416's picture

Welcome to the Big Ten!!!

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

bucksfan92's picture

Very glad to see Q finding his stroke again, I knew it would happen, he is too good to slump for very long, and I'd prefer a slump come early in the season rather than late.  Slam was his usual self, those 4 jams were amazing and brought the roof down!  We played well defensively on the ball, but really played poorly down low.  We gave up way too many offensive rebounds, and really seemed passive down low. And the FT shooting... ugh that has got to improve. Have to be pretty happy with a resounding victory, but there is still room for improvement.

HYDEYOKIDS's picture

Great performance tonight! One note though is I would like to see Loving try to get into the post a bit more. On offense he seems to stand behind the arc too much. I don't have a problem with him taking a few three's but I would like to see him get more action in the paint and put himself in a position to grab some offensive boards, it seems to come naturally to him.

wyatt's picture

Thompson can sky with the best of them. Amazing athlete.

RedStorm45's picture

Didn't Sam have 4 oops tonight?

InTressITrust's picture

Fouled on the second attempt and knocked down 2 free throws. So 4 attempts 3 success.

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

Goalscorer9's picture

No, he made another one, first half, real short pass from scott basically under the bucket.  It was a thing of beauty

rjenkins26's picture

Sportscenter just showed 4 alley-oops

Shayla39's picture

Love Matta's sense of humor!

WhySoSerious's picture

Love the way he sets is feet to jump. That's that volleyball type of bounce. Yes volleyball players have some of the sickest dunks I've ever seen. 


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

Seattle Linga's picture

Sam T is the gift that keeps on giving.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Dang, looks like the B1G / ACC are going to end up tied at 6 all, unless MSU has a miracle finish in the next two minutes.  Oh well, the first of two big losses for them this week.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

WhySoSerious's picture

# 1 Msu losing to North Carolina. Moving on up. 


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

WhySoSerious's picture



Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

WhySoSerious's picture

It's going to be a bad week for Sparty. 


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

RedStorm45's picture

Chance to move up to top 2 with Sparty loss.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

TilstheHun3's picture

Members of Michigan State's secondary have put the word out on social media that they are instituting a "no-fly zone" this season on opposing offenses. And if cornerback Darqueze Dennard is the air traffic controller of the group, then fellow senior and third-year starter Isaiah Lewis is his wingman.
Lewis explained the no-fly zone in Spartan Football All-Access' season preview show Thursday.
"That term explains that if the ball's in the air, it's our ball," Lewis said. "We're going up and getting it. Either we're batting it down or it's our ball."

Slam Thompson is like "No, fuck you, it's MY ball."

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

gobucks5413's picture

Awesome to get q going. If he's solid + Amir keeps progressig, could be a real nice season

00Buck's picture

All I remember is PHI SLAMA JAMA...............PHI SLAMA JAMA...................etc...etc....etc.........those boys look so freakin young......makes me feel so damned old uuughh !!!   anyone got a cure for UGLY in their pocket...........

Upon this Rock, I build my house....and Let no man put asunder

ih8rolltyde's picture

Slam Thompson. Been saying it. Shall continue to

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

After a game like this, it's easy to talk about Craft's defense. Q's shooting, and Sam's dunking, so I'll point out the areas the team needs to keep working on.
1. Defensive rebounding - the biggest culprit was Amir Williams. One rebound in 28 minutes? No can do. I don't care if that guy doesn't score a point, he needs to own the defensive glass.
2. Dribble penetration - OU got to the hoop. Wyoming got to the hoop. And Maryland got to the hoops. For as athletic as this team is, they have to do a better job of simply keeping their own men in front of them and then playing help defense. When they did, Maryland couldn't do anything.
3. Individual FT shooting - it's easy to focus on the team, but there are a few guys who really hurt them last night - specifically, Ross and McDonald. Ross is too good of a shooter to be in the low 60% on FT, and McDonald will get fouled on every layup until he shows he can turn it into a 3-point play and knock down the FT.
That said...this is a fun team and a likeable team. They seem to enjoy playing together, and like all Matta teams, they will be even better in March.

Nutty's picture

Amir just seems so timid and indecisive at times he makes it easy for opponents to get to the ball before him. He seems more confident this year but needs to continue to feel comfortable with his skills and just play ball. He seems to think too much.

+1 HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

I'm sure Matta doesn't want Amir to get in early foul trouble. Think Amir on the bench for most of the game and Trey McDonald on the floor.