December 10, 2019

Maryland Basketball: Terps end two-game road skid by narrowly beating Ohio State

Fresh off of their best win of the season, against No. 3 Iowa, the Maryland Terrapins were looking to make their return to a projected one or two seed. Even after hitting the century mark in College Park against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Terps are on a two-game skid on the road: Michigan and Michigan State. Maryland had a strong showing at the end of the first half, but a cold stretch to start the second allowed Ohio State to get back into things. Back-to-back 3-pointers late in the game gave the Terps the cushion they needed to survive on the road against Ohio State, 66-61.

Both teams get off to a hot start from Columbus

(Photo by: CSN Mid-Atlantic)

(Photo by: CSN Mid-Atlantic)

Clearly the Buckeyes were going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder after getting blown out by 35-points at Xfinity Center. Ohio State opened up 7 of 11 from the field including hitting their first three 3-pointers. Jae’Sean Tate only averages 11 points per game, but already had 10 points within the first seven minutes of the game by taking advantage of his matchup against the bigger Robert Carter Jr. Carter returned the favor against Tate on the other end of the floor by hitting his first three shots. Jake Layman also got off to a good start by hitting a 3-pointer and then getting a three-point play off of dribble drive penetration. Maryland started the game 5 of 8 from the field.

Terps finish the first half in style

Once Maryland began to clamp down on the Buckeyes shooting, they were able to turn a 20-13 deficit into a 37-31 halftime lead. A 24-11 run over the last 12:16 of the half was spurted by holding Ohio State to two of their last 14 shooting from the field. The Buckeyes were killing themselves by missing five free throws and multiple layup attempts. Maryland on the other hand continued to shooting the ball well from the field: 50 percent (15 of 30) in the half. Jake Layman had a thunderous alley-oop dunk from Rasheed Sulaimon for the second game in a row as a part of his own personal 6-0 run to end the half.

Cold start to second half allows Ohio State to hang around

Maryland got off to a 1 of 7 start from the field, while the Buckeyes were not much better at 1 of 6 to begin the half. With only five combined points in the half’s first six minutes of play, the Terps were unable to deliver the knock blow to the Buckeyes before the home team’s shots started to fall. Kam Williams cut the Ohio State deficit to two with a 3-ball and the Buckeyes continued to cut the Terps lead to a single bucket everytime Maryland tried to extend it. Both teams scored nine points over the six minutes after the Williams 3 to make things interesting down the stretch. A Marc Loving three-point play allowed Ohio State to take their first lead since the eight minute mark of the first half.

Free throw shooting supplement Maryland scoring before the three’s rain in

After missing all ten of their 3-pointers in the second half against Iowa, on Sunday the Terps started 2 of 13 (15.4 percent) from beyond the arc. They were unable to hit a shot for their lives as they opened the second half 3 of 17 (17.6 percent) from the field. Luckily they got to the free throw line 11 times, where they converted for nine points during that stretch. Then coming out of the under-4 minute timeout, Rasheed Sulaimon got Maryland back on track with a triple assisted by Melo Trimble. On the very next offensive possession the favor was returned as Trimble hit his second 3-pointer of the game with the assist from Sulaimon. That put Maryland up for good on their way to a 66-61 victory.

Turnovers, defensive rebounding, and three-point shooting continue to remain a concern

Maryland had 13 turnovers that Ohio State cashed in for 11 points. The Buckeyes grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, which they cashed into 17 points. With the nine extra field goal attempts relative to Maryland, Thad Matta’s team was gifted 46 percent of their total scoring because of miscues. That was nearly the difference in the game for the Terps and is something that must be corrected over the next month if they want to avoid an early exit in the NCAA tournament.

Yes the Terps made 3-pointers when it counted late in the second half, but they continue to struggle from beyond the arc. The Terrapins have not gotten above the 30 percent mark from deep in five of their last six games, including Sunday. Two of Mark Turgeon‘s best threats from the bonus sphere have gone into deep slumps. Melo Trimble is 9 of his last 40 (22.5 percent) since losing to Michigan on Jan. 12, while reserve forward Jared Nickens has lost all confidence in his shot by shooting just 7 of 40 since Dec. 12. Like most teams, Maryland is unstoppable when the shots are falling and will hope to heat up come March.

Maryland will be at Nebraska (12-10) on Wednesday for their first matchup of the season with the Cornhuskers. After a huge upset of Michigan State at the Breslin Center, Nebraska has dropped two games but are getting 17 points per game from guard Andrew White.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] Terrapins had their best win of the season three games ago over No. 3 Iowa, but only squeaked past Ohio State and Nebraska on the road. The Terps might be ranked No. 4 and No. 3 in the AP and USA […]

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