Twice in the past two months, Maryland has taken down teams near the top of the Big Ten. First, it was Wisconsin. Then, it was Illinois.
Monday night, the Terrapins wanted to add a third victim to their résumé. Ohio State had other plans.
|#4 OHIO STATE||35||38||73|
Hours after rising to No. 4 in the Associated Press top-25 poll, the Buckeyes disposed of Maryland for a 73-65 victory behind a 3-point barrage at the Xfinity Center in College Park to improve to 16-4 overall and 10-4 within the Big Ten. E.J. Liddell finished off an alley-oop to put Ohio State on top by 13 points with 1:09 remaining, effectively putting away the Terrapins after they fought back from trailing by 16 points to a single-digit deficit.
Ohio State has now won eight of its past nine games and five in a row.
Five Ohio State players hit shots from deep as the team went 10-for-26 from 3-point range. Justin Ahrens and Duane Washington Jr. both hit a trio of triples, and Seth Towns made a pair. Both Kyle Young and CJ Walker hit a 3, too.
Young's career-high 18 points propelled the Buckeyes to a win. Sometimes overlooked and undervalued, his impact remains felt, keeping possessions alive and getting buckets near the rim when needed. Washington put in 17 points, too. They powered an offense that made 45 percent of its shots.
Maryland went through prolonged dry spells offensively, unable to find much consistency putting the ball through the rim. It shot 40 percent from the floor.
|25-56 (44.6%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-55 (40.0%)|
|10-26 (38.5%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||5-19 (26.3%)|
|13-15 (86.7%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||16-18 (88.9%)|
A long jumper from Ahrens gave Ohio State the game's first points, but Eric Ayala answered with a triple just 34 seconds later. For more than 11 minutes in the first half, the Terrapins led. Yet twice, they gave up their advantage due to 3-point-heavy runs made by the visitors.
A less-than-60-second run of two Washington Jr. threes and a Towns triple turned a 13-5 Maryland lead into a 14-13 Ohio State advantage with 12 minutes remaining before halftime. Later, the Terrapins got out to a six-point edge before consecutive threes from Washington, Ahrens and Walker put Ohio State back on top.
That second 9-0 run of the first half helped the Buckeyes enter halftime with a 35-30 lead despite trailing for 11:25 of the opening half.
Ohio State did almost all of its damage offensively from behind the arc where it went 8-of-16. It got roasted inside, however, where Maryland had 18 points in the paint compared to just four from the Buckeyes in the game's first 20 minutes.
Next up: Ohio State returns to Columbus to welcome Indiana to the Schottenstein Center on Saturday. The game tips off at noon on ESPN2.
- Chris Holtmann stayed with the same starting lineup that has helped Ohio State go on such an impressive recent run: Duane Washington Jr., Justin Ahrens, Justice Sueing, E.J. Liddell, Kyle Young.
- The head coach was without two of his 13 scholarship players: Ibrahima Diallo (sprained MCL) and Jimmy Sotos (separated shoulder). Diallo's return to the court is unknown. Sotos will miss the next six months after having surgery last week.
- Ohio State came into the day trailing 9-7 in the all-time series with Maryland. It is now 3-3 vs. the Terrapins in the Holtmann era.
- This was one of the Buckeyes' two games they'll play this week before the next Associated Press top-25 poll comes out. They've moved up four polls in a row.