Buckeye Comeback Attempt Falls Short at Maryland

Playing without their senior guard CJ Jackson, who was out with a shoulder injury, Ohio State basketball Buckeyes fell down 16 midway through the second half, had a furious comeback to get it back to within a pair, before ultimately falling 72-62 to #25 Maryland.  With the loss, Ohio State fell to 16-10 and 6-9 in Big Ten play.  Duane Washington Jr. led Ohio State with 15 and Andre Wesson added 13 with Keyshawn Woods chipping in 10 for the Buckeyes.  Justin Ahrens, starting his first game of the season added 3 triples for 9 points in the game.

Defense ruled the game early as each team struggled to find the range in the first few minutes with Ohio State maintaining an early one-possession lead.  A Maryland 3 was answered on the other end by Andre Wesson, who drilled a standstill 3 from the left wing and the game was even at 12 at the under 12 timeout.  The Terps grabbed a 4 point advantage at the under 8 timeout in part due to a blatantly missed goaltending call on a Musa Jallow layup attempt in transition off a Maryland turnover.  A Keyshawn Woods triple out of the timeout cut the deficit to one, but a 7-0 Maryland run gave the Terps an 8 point lead forcing Chris Holtmann to call timeout with 4:50 on the clock.  The Buckeyes came right back out of the timeout.  A Duane Washington bucket and a pair of free throws cut the lead to 4 and after a steal and score from Keyshawn Woods, the Terps called timeout with Ohio State trailing by just 2 and 2:44 to go in the half.  Maryland stretched the lead to 5 to finish the half, giving the Terrapins a 33-28 halftime lead.  The Buckeyes were led by Keyshawn Woods who dropped in 10 and Duane Washington, Jr. added 6.  Ohio State took care of the basketball, turning it over just 3 times while forcing 8 but were fortunate to be down just 5 as Luther Muhammad and Kaleb Wesson combined for just 2 of 10 from the floor for 5 points total.  Anthony Cowan, Jr. led Maryland with 10 first half points.

Maryland extended the lead to 8 early in the second half but a Kaleb Wesson three cut that advantage to just 5.  On the ensuing possession, a Woods steal and feed to Andre Wesson in transition who completed a highlight reel, reverse dunk cutting the lead to 3 with 16:45 to go in the game.  Just when Ohio State was threatening to make it a ballgame, the Terps went on a run of their own, 8-0, stretching the lead to 11 after an Anthony Cowan 3, forcing Ohio State to call timeout, trailing by 11, their largest deficit of the game and 13:19 to go.  Maryland extended the lead to 16 as the Buckeyes went nearly 5 minutes without scoring.  The Buckeyes would not go away however and a quick 16-5 run cut the Terp lead to 5 thanks to triples from Justin Ahrens and Duane Washington along with an old fashioned 3 point play from Kyle Young.  The Washington triple at the 6:44 mark forced Maryland to call timeout to try to regroup with Ohio State charging.  The Buckeyes trimmed the lead to 2 when Justin Ahrens drilled a 3 from the right corner, but a mental mistake on the part of Ahrens on the Maryland possession as he fouled Serrel Smith attempting a 3 and he made all 3 to extend the lead to 5.  On the Buckeye trip down the floor, Washington threw the ball away on the wing and in transition was whistled for a foul, which was clearly offensive, but nonetheless allowed Maryland to extend the lead to 7 after 2 made free throws.  The Terp lead stood at 7 at the under 4 media timeout with the Buckeyes possessing the basketball. After a Buckeye miss, Maryland bumped the lead to 8 with a slam, but Justin Ahrens answered with a triple from the right corner again to cut the lead to 5 with 2:33 to go in the game.  Unfortunately, that’s as close as Ohio State would be as their comeback attempt fell short losing a tough road game.

For Ohio State, it wasn’t a game they were supposed to win, but one they needed.  Playing shorthanded without C.J. Jackson, the Buckeyes battled and never quit.  One thing you can certainly say for this basketball team is that they never quit.  They have struggled with youthful mistakes for much of the year and this game was no exception but the effort can never be questioned.  They gave themselves a chance at the upset late in the ballgame but on the road against a good basketball team, the mistakes can be magnified, especially late.  They still have opportunities to put themselves into the NCAA tournament but they need to avoid the long scoreless lapses to beat good basketball teams.

The Buckeyes get their next opportunity at a signature win on Tuesday night when Iowa visits the Schott.  Game time for that one is scheduled for 7 PM to be aired on BTN.

-Jason Harris

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