Following a last-second loss to the Purdue Boilermakers on Thursday, the No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-5, 2-2) traveled to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins (11-5, 2-3). After leading by five at the half, the Buckeyes fell to the Terrapins to record an 0-2 week.
Maryland has had a roller coaster start to their season, as the team went from unranked in the preseason AP Poll all the way to 13th in the country after a 20-point win over Miami. However, Maryland came into this one 1-3 in conference play and scored just 96 points in their last two games combined.
Ohio State is coming off a heartbreaking loss to No. 1 Purdue after leading 69-66 with 40 seconds left and Purdue scored the final five points to win the game 71-69.
Both teams came into this one looking for a win to get back on track.
The buckets were flowing early, as Sean McNeil picked up where he left off and had six early points for the Buckeyes. McNeil had the three-pointer that gave Ohio State a 69-66 lead against Purdue with 40 seconds left on Thursday night.
As basketball is, this one was a game of runs early. Maryland jumped out to a lead early with the Buckeyes answering and taking a tie of 12-12 to the first media timeout behind two early three-pointers from Sean McNeil. McNeil injured his ankle early in the first half against Purdue but was able to tough it out.
However, that same ankle was stepped on early in this contest as well and he left the game with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.
Maryland was able to take a 23-16 lead after a Donta Scott three-pointer, but Ohio State answered with a 7-0 run over two minutes and 17 seconds, including five points from star freshman Brice Sensabaugh.
After some fairly ugly basketball and fouls, Maryland took a 31-26 lead after back-to-back offensive rebounds and four points by Maryland guard and Charlotte transfer Jahmir Young.
The Buckeyes answered out of the Chris Holtmann timeout with a quick five-point run after two free throws from Tanner Holden and another three-pointer by Brice Sensabaugh. Sensabaugh is shooting the three at a 46 percent clip to start the season.
This run forced a Maryland timeout with just under three minutes remaining in the first half.
Justice Sueing got a putback basket on the Sensabaugh miss and two free throws from Young tied the score at 33.
#14 is doing work in College Park. pic.twitter.com/wH21y96AjS— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) January 8, 2023
The Buckeyes closed the half on a 6-1 run after the tie game and on a 13-3 run total to take a 39-34 lead into the half.
Justice Sueing and Brice Sensabaugh led the way for the Buckeyes in the opening half, both recording 11 points. Sensabaugh added four rebounds and Sueing added three rebounds.
For Maryland, Jahmir Young recorded 13 points and eight rebounds in the first half, including four offensive rebounds.
Julian Reese recorded six points and five rebounds in the first half. The Buckeyes held leading scorer Donta Scott to just three first-half points and 1-for-5 shooting from the field.
Maryland outrebounded the Buckeyes 24-16 in the first half.
In quite possibly the worst two minutes of basketball of the season for the Buckeyes to open the second half, Ohio State had four turnovers in the first 1:42 of the half and Maryland went on a 6-0 run to take a 40-39 lead.
After back-to-back three-pointers from Donta Scott and Don Carey and the Terrapins pushing the lead to 46-39, Ohio State was forced to use a timeout. Maryland started the second half on a 12-0 run.
With the score at 48-39, Isaac Likekele stopped the bleeding for the Buckeyes after getting an offensive rebound and put back. It took the Buckeyes over five minutes to score to open the second half. After three more made baskets from Maryland, the Buckeyes trailed 56-45 with 11:45 remaining in the game.
Maryland started the second half 10-for-13 from the field after finishing the first half just 2-for-17 from the field. Ohio State started the second half 3-for-11 from the field.
Maryland was able to keep the Buckeyes at arm's length, holding a 60-50 lead with 8:55 left in the second half.
Sueing drilled a three-pointer to make the score 60-53 and give Ohio State a 7-0 run over the span of just one minute. This run also came with Ohio State's leading scorer Brice Sensabaugh on the bench.
Two free throws from Brice Sensabaugh cut the Ohio State deficit to just three and Maryland held a 62-59 lead with 5:56 left. Two free throws from Maryland’s Hakim Hart gave Maryland a 64-59 lead.
Sueing recorded a basket after a three-point play by Jahmir Young for Maryland and Ohio State took a timeout down four with 4:27 left in the game.
Roddy Gayle went on a 5-0 run after a three-pointer and a floater in the lane, but Maryland continued to get to the free-throw line and make the Buckeyes pay for it. The Terrapins led 72-68 with 1:29 left in the game.
With a 74-68 lead, Justice Sueing missed a good look at a three-pointer and Sensabaugh fouled out with 46 seconds left in the game.
Maryland clinched the game at the free throw line and won the game 80-73.
Maryland’s Jahmir Young had a career game, scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the Terrapins. Maryland finished with five players in double figures, all starters and only recorded six bench points.
Brice Sensabaugh had 22 points but fouled out and Justice Sueing had 21 points to lead Ohio State.
This season, the Buckeyes are 3-0 coming off a loss. They took down Cincinnati after losing to San Diego State, took down St. Francis (PA) after losing to Duke, and defeated Maine after falling to North Carolina.
The Buckeyes have also won those three games by an average margin of 33 points, leaving little doubt in any of those games.
Best in the country
After the game against Purdue, the Buckeyes rose to the number one spot on KenPom.com in adjusted offensive efficiency at 119.0. The Buckeyes have been high on the list in offensive efficiency over the last three seasons with guys like E.J. Liddell, Duane Washington, and Malaki Branham, but have yet to hit the top mark.
The Buckeyes still have work to do on defense, as they currently rank 77 in adjusted defensive efficiency at 97.2.
College Park is no friend to Ohio State
It has been tough sledding for the Buckeyes at Maryland since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes entered this contest just 1-5 at the Xfinity Center and an average margin of defeat of 16.2 points per game. The Buckeyes also suffered a 100-65 loss to Maryland in College Park in Chris Holtmann’s first year during the 2016-17 season.
It has been a different story against Maryland in Columbus, as the Buckeyes are 3-0 against Maryland at home.
Okpara gets first start
For the first time this season, freshman center Felix Okpara recorded his first start of the season and of his career. Zed Key had previously started in all 14 games this season.
The rest of the starting lineup was the same, as Bruce Thornton, Sean McNeil, Brice Sensabaugh, and Justice Sueing received the start.
Quick to the bench
While Okpara got his first start of the season, it only took two minutes and 39 seconds for head coach Chris Holtmann to go to the bench to replace him. Junior guard Eugene Brown was subbed in for Okpara and the Buckeyes went with a small ball lineup with Maryland’s tallest player being Julian Reese, who is listed at 6’9.
Foul trouble early
In the first five minutes of the game and before the first media timeout, Maryland forward and top scorer Donta Scott was charged with two fouls and had to spend some early time on the bench.
For the Buckeyes, freshman center Felix Okpara had three fouls in the first half, Bruce Thornton had two fouls in the first half and picked up his third early in the second half and Eugene Brown had two fouls in the first half.
You get a tech, you get a tech
In one of the weirder moments in the game, Maryland head coach Kevin Willard received an early technical foul for leaving the coach's box and use not so nice language toward the officials.
Then, towards the end of the first half, Maryland’s Ian Martinez and Ohio State’s Tanner Holden received double technical fouls after Holden put his knee into Martinez's back during a loose ball, and Martinez took exception, pushing Holden. Those technical fouls offset.
Julian Reese also received a technical foul for Maryland in the second half for taunting Ohio State's Eugene Brown after making a basket over him and that led to a quick four points for Ohio State.
Maryland rolls to start the second half
Ohio State led 39-34 at the half, but the Terrapins took full control of the game to start the second half, opening up an 11-point lead in the first seven minutes of the half and going on a 22-6 run to take a 56-45 lead.
Ohio State had six turnovers in that stretch and just three baskets.
As we get into the heart of conference play, the Buckeyes will come back to Columbus and take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
Minnesota has struggled this season and sits at 6-8 overall and 0-3 in conference play.