Ohio State Drops Third Straight, Falling at #12 Maryland

The 11th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes fell for the third time in as many games, losing on the road at Maryland 67-55.  A hot shooting Maryland first half and cold shooting 40 minuted for Ohio State left the Buckeyes searching for answers, falling to 11-4 and just 1-3 in conference play.  Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 15 points and 9 rebounds and Andre Wesson and D.J. Carton added 14 each for the suddenly slumping Ohio State team who shot just 32% from the field, including just 5 of 27 from long range.

D.J. Carton got his first start of his young Buckeye career in place of C.J. Walker who was a little under the weather and it paid dividends early.  Carton found both Wesson brothers on consecutive possessions for three and Ohio State jumped out to an early 6-0 lead 4 minutes into the game. The Buckeye defense was on full display early as the Terps missed their first four shots and had a pair of turnovers on their first 6 possessions to enable the Buckeyes to grab the early lead. An Andre Wesson lob to Kaleb Wesson led to an easy lay in to increase Ohio State’s lead to 8-0 before Maryland finally got on the board at the 14:33 mark with a free throw.  The Terps cut the lead to 4 after a three found the bottom but Ohio State got the lead back to 5.  A Maryland three trimmed the lead to just 2 at the under 12 media timeout with Ohio State clinging to an 11-9 advantage. Maryland took their first lead after a transition 3 from the corner fell at the 10-minute mark, but a minute and a half later, Kaleb Wesson found Andre Wesson on the baseline for a dunk to get Ohio State back in front.  The lead was short lived as yet another Maryland 3 found the mark to put the Terps ahead 15-13 at the under 8 media timeout. A Buckeye turnover led to a Maryland breakout for a lay in, their first 2-point field goal and Maryland enjoyed their largest lead to that point, sitting at 4.  After a D.J. Carton driving layup cut the lead to 2, back to back Maryland threes gave the Terps an 8-point bulge.  Carton drilled a three from the right wing to briefly cut the lead back to 5, but another Maryland 3, their 7th thus far, gave the Terps the 8 point lead right back.  A C.J. Walker 17 footer fell to cut the lead to 6 and that’s where it stood as the first half horn sounded with Maryland enjoying a 28-22 lead.  Ohio State had to feel pretty good, trailing by just 6 while shooting just 29% from the field, while 7 of Maryland’s 8 field goals came from behind the arc, hitting 7 of their 11 attempts from long range. D.J. Carton led all scorers with 7, while Kaleb and Andre Wesson each added 5 first half points.

The Buckeyes got the 2nd half started with a flurry, trimming the lead to 2 after an Andre Wesson triple from the right point, but Maryland quickly got the lead back to 7 following a sequence that saw Chris Holtmann pick up his first technical of the season.  A pair of Kaleb Wesson free throws trimmed the lead to 5 and at the under 16 media timeout, Maryland led 36-31 with Ohio State possessing the basketball. A 5-0 Maryland run out of the timeout that saw Carton miss a pair of tough transition lay ups forced Chris Holtmann to call timeout with Maryland enjoying their largest lead at 10. The Buckeyes cut the lead as close as 7 but each time Ohio State started to make a little run, Maryland answered. After a Buckeye turnover, a break out dunk gave the Terps a 12 point lead at the under 8 media timeout as Maryland led 53-41. Ohio State continued to struggle from the field, shooting it at just 29.6% including an abysmal 4 of 23 from deep in a game that was turning extremely chippy and many of the calls going against the Buckeyes unfortunately. A 6-2 run by Ohio State over the next 2 minutes cut the lead to 8 and Chris Holtmann called a quick timeout with 5:36 to go and Maryland leading 55-47. The Buckeyes w trimmed the lead to 7 with 3:30 to go after a pair of Duane Washington free throws but that’s as close as they would get and Maryland walked away with the home win.

The Buckeyes now find themselves in a situation where they desperately need to get a win.  While this was going to be a tough game to get a win regardless, following the upset loss at home to Wisconsin, it was one Ohio State needed.  There hasn’t been any one reason for the slide.  Tonight was poor shooting and in the previous two, it was the lack of rebounding on the offensive glass.  Playing without Kyle Young for the second straight game, they hope he can return for Saturday’s game at Indiana to give the Buckeyes the spark they need in a bad way. D.J. Carton broke out of his mini slump tonight, but Duane Washington struggled once again and really hasn’t been himself since his injury forced him to miss some time. Nobody is going to feel sorry for them though and the Big Ten can be a humbling animal and Ohio State will need to string some wins together to get them back into the race. They are certainly capable and time will tell if they can get some positive momentum moving forward.

Ohio State will try again to get their first win of 2020, suiting up on Sunday in Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers for a scheduled tip time of noon on Fox.

-Jason Harris

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