Ohio State shook a slow start to rip through No. 16 Maryland, 80-56, Thursday night to notch back-to-back wins against ranked competition. After an unimpressive start to Big Ten play, the Buckeyes appear to have found their footing halfway through the season.
Marc Loving, the sophomore forward, scored 19 points and buried five 3-pointers. D’Angelo Russell, the star freshman guard who has been instrumental of late for the surging Buckeyes, added 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Jae'Sean Tate, the freshman jitterbug inserted into the starting lineup last week, added 16.
On a night where Ohio State shot 44 percent, it was buoyed by good rebounding and marksmanship from behind the arc, where the Buckeyes made 10-of-16 shots. They also played smothering defense, holding the Terrapins to 31 percent shooting and stifling star freshman guard Melo Trimble, who made three points and was 0-of-8 from the floor.
|28-60 (46.7)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||26-50 (52)|
|10-17 (58.8)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||12-25 (48)|
|14-26 (53.8)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||6-8 (75)|
After a tepid start in which Ohio State and Maryland started a combined 1-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-21 by the under 12 timeout, the Buckeyes awoke after Russell and Loving — who combined for 23 points in the period — found their strokes. They ignited a 12-0 run to seize control of the game before heading into halftime up, 34-26.
In the second half, Ohio State continued the barrage, which included Shannon Scott splitting a pair of defenders and rolling the ball off the glass to go up, 45-32, the largest lead of the game. On the next possession, Russell snapped a pass out to senior forward Sam Thompson in the corner, who buried a 3-pointer. The series sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Next up for Ohio State: surging Purdue Wednesday night in West Lafayette, Ind.