The Ohio State basketball team’s two-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday as the Buckeyes lost 86-77 to Maryland in College Park.
With the loss, Ohio State falls to 15-11 overall, 5-8 in Big Ten play. The Terrapins, meanwhile, advance to 21-4, 9-3 in the conference. Maryland is tied with Purdue for second place in the conference.
How it happened
The Buckeyes came out flat offensively, failing to score a single point for more than four minutes. After falling behind 9-0, Ohio State battled back to cut Maryland’s lead to two points in the span of less than four minutes as a Kam Williams jumper capped an 11-2 run.
That, however, would be as close as the Buckeyes would get. The Terrapins answered with an 11-2 run of their own and would stretch their lead to as many as 16 points by the end of the first half.
After Maryland took a 45-31 lead into halftime, Ohio State slowly chipped away at the Terrapins’ advantage, cutting it to 56-50 on a C.J. Jackson 3-pointer at the 13:05 mark. Maryland responded and stretched its lead back to 12 on an Anthony Cowan 3-pointer with 9:49 left in the game.
After keepings the Buckeyes at an arm’s length for the better part of the second half, a Marc Loving 3-pointer trimmed the Terrapins’ lead to 77-72 with 2:30 remaining. After Kevin Huerter and Williams exchanged 3s on the ensuing two possessions, Loving missed an attempt from long distance that would have brought Ohio State within two.
Cowan proceeded to sink another 3-pointer with 41 seconds left and Maryland sealed the game at the free-throw line.
What it means for Ohio State basketball
The Buckeyes’ battle for a spot in the NCAA Tournament took a hit. Ohio State entered Saturday ranked 60th on noted advanced analytics site KenPom.com and as an 11-seed in Jerry Palm’s latest edition of ‘bracketology’ on CBSSports.com.
In addition to another loss, it doesn’t bode well for the Buckeyes that there wasn’t a Big Ten team to be found in the selection committee’s early reveal of its top 16 seeds on Saturday. With two weeks left in the regular season, Ohio State clearly has work to do as it attempts to bolster its case for making the ‘Big Dance.’
Despite picking up two early fouls, Trevor Thompson scored 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to record his 10th double-double of the season. He was joined in double-digit scoring by Loving (24), Jae’Sean Tate (20) and Jackson (13).
As Thompson battled foul trouble, freshman reserve center Micah Potter struggled, particularly on defense against the Terrapins’ talented front line. Potter attempted just one shot and fouled out in 14 minutes of action.
Shorthanded due to the absence of JaQuan Lyle, the Buckeyes bench failed to score a single point on Saturday.
The Buckeyes will return to action on Tuesday when they head to East Lansing to face Michigan State (14-10, 6-5 Big Ten). The Buckeyes beat the Spartans 72-67 on Jan. 16 in Columbus.
Ohio State and Michigan State will tip off at 9 p.m. ET in a game televised on ESPN.