A year prior to battling as conference foes, Ohio State and Maryland met on the hardwood with ACC-Big Ten Challenge bragging rights on the line. In the first matchup between the schools since 1985, the Buckeyes dominated the Terrapins, 76-60.
Led by LaQuinton Ross, the Buckeyes came out on fire from three. Ross hit his first four shots from beyond the arc on his way to 17 first half points. The junior from Jackson, Mississippi, fell just short of setting a career high in points, ending with 20 points in the contest. Ross, whose career high is 22 points, coming in the Buckeyes’ win over Northern Kentucky last season, also added six rebounds.
Ohio State shot about as well as they could have in the first half, especially from behind the three point line, as the Buckeyes shot over 60% from the field on their way to a 43-26 halftime lead.
To pair with Ross’ extraordinary night, the Buckeyes had three other players in double figures. Senior Aaron Craft chipped in a quiet 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting, while Lenzelle Smith, Jr., found his shot late in the second half to finish with 12 points on six shots.
Junior Sam Thompson, who brought the crowd at Value City Arena to it’s feet with a pair of high-flying dunks, contributed 14 points off the Buckeyes’ bench.
You never quite had the feeling that the Terrapins were in this one, as they trailed by double digits throughout the game. After being held to two points in the first half, Maryland's All-American candidate Dez Wells finished with 19 points, and former Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz added 15 for the Terps.
Behind Ross’ 12 points, the Buckeyes opened up an 18-9 lead, which they never relinquished. The Terrapins fought back, but an 8-0 run, spearheaded by Thompson and Ross, gave the Buckeyes a 15 point advantage. Maryland made another run, but Ohio State answered right back with eight straight points to end the half.
Down 17 at the half, Maryland was unable to crawl any closer. The Buckeyes rushed out to their big lead, thanks in part to an 18-0 margin in points off of turnovers, and Terrapins' turnover woes continued in the second half. In total, Maryland turned the ball over 14 times throughout the game.
With just over six minutes left in the half, the Buckeyes left the Terrapins in the dust with a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 25.
The win over the Terrapins moved the Buckeyes to 7-0 on the season, evening their record in ACC-Big Ten Challenge play at 6-6. The win, along with Wisconsin’s win over Virginia, evened the Big Ten-ACC Challenge at four games per conference.
In the midst of an eight game home stand, the Buckeyes host Central Connecticut this Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. The Blue Devils are 1-5 this season, with their lone win coming at NJIT.
|WELLS, DEZMINE *||19||1||2||3||2||1||8||17||3||3||2||31||-7|
|SMOTRYCZ, EVAN *||15||1||7||1||2||3||6||12||2||2||1||3||29||-17|
|FAUST, NICK *||5||2||1||2||3||2||9||1||7||24||-10|
|LAYMAN, JAKE *||2||1||1||7||2||1||2||1||9||5||32||-14|
|CLEARE, SHAQUILLE *||2||1||4||1||2||16||-11|
|SMITH JR.,LENZELLE *||12||2||6||1||2||2||4||6||3||4||1||3||23||2|