Young’s Career High Scoring Night Leads Ohio State Past Maryland

The newly minted 4th ranked team in the land, successfully defended their lofty ranking, went on the road and came away with a win, defeating Maryland in College Park 73-65, winning for the first time in 5 tries in the XFinity Center, to move to 16-4 overall and 10-4 in Big Ten play. With the loss, Maryland dropped to 10-10 and 4-9 in the Big Ten. Kyle Young scored a career high 18 and Duane Washington matched Young’s total of 18, while Justin Ahrens and C.J. Walker each scored 11. Ohio State won their 5th straight and 8th in nine tries to move within just ½ game of conference leading Michigan, who has been idle for the past couple weeks due to COVID issues.

The Buckeyes scored first when Justin Ahrens picked up a steal and hit a long jumper from the top in transition.  Unfortunately for Ohio State, that would be the only bucket Ohio State would hit in their first six attempts and the Terps went ahead 6-2. Ahrens ended the Maryland 6-0 run, pump faking at the right point, taking one dribble to his left, and burying a triple cutting the Maryland lead to 6-5. The Terrapins increased the lead to eight, scoring the next seven thanks to a pair of Buckeye turnovers, but back-to-back Duane Washington Jr. triples from the top of the key cut the lead to two and Seth Towns added a three himself from the left wing and suddenly Ohio State was back ahead a point. A Maryland score at the rim put Maryland back ahead and at the under 12 media timeout, Ohio State trailed the Terps 15-14. A pair of free throws put the Terps up three but Towns answered with a triple from the right wing to tie the score. Maryland broke the tie, scoring the next six, forcing Chris Holtmann to call timeout and he was very demonstrative in his very one-sided discussion with his team as Maryland led Ohio State 23-17 with 8:42 to go in the half and the Buckeyes lacking the energy needed to compete. Washington hit a 12-foot baseline jumper at the 7-minute mark, ending a scoreless drought and cutting the lead to four. After a Maryland bucket, back-to-back threes from Washington and Ahrens tied it, Maryland called timeout with 5:26 to go, and the teams deadlocked at 25. Out of the timeout, C.J. Walker drilled a wide-open triple to give Ohio State a lead. After a Maryland free throw, Kyle Young caught the ball in the lane, sealed his defender and drop stepped and scored as he was fouled. Young drilled the free throw and on the next possession, Washington hit a tough fade away jumper from 15 along the baseline and at the final media timeout of the half, Ohio State led 33-26 and on a 16-3 run. A pair of Maryland free throws trimmed the lead to five, but it went back to seven when Gene Brown lobbed to Young at the block and he sealed his defender and scored off the glass. Maryland scored the last points of the half with a short jumper in the paint and at the half Ohio State led Maryland 35-30, holding the Terps to just one field goal in the final 6:36. The Buckeyes were led in the first 20 minutes by Washington’s 13 and Ahrens’s 8. It was the 3-point ball that had Ohio State out in front, hitting 8 of their 16 attempts and holding Maryland to just under 41% overall.

The Buckeyes increased the lead to nine just under 2 minutes in thanks to Kyle Young, who scored on a pair of free throws and a lay in at the block. After two Maryland free throws cut the lead to seven, E.J. Liddell got on the scoreboard for the first time on the night, knocking down a pair of free throws of his own and at the first media timeout of the second half, Ohio State led 41-32. Neither team was shooting it well at all early in the half, with just one field goal in 14 attempts between them. The lead increased to 11 when Washington got into the lane off the bounce and fed Young on the block for a lay in off the window, forcing Maryland to call timeout with 14:05 to play and Maryland still searching for their first field goal of the second twenty minutes. The Buckeyes took advantage and after an Ahrens steal, Walker found Ahrens in transition for a three and Maryland took yet another timeout with Ohio State now ahead by 14 and on a 7-0 run. Maryland finally got on the board from the field at the 12:47 mark to cut the lead to 12, but Washington picked a Terp’s pocket on their next possession and went the length of the floor for a score to put Ohio State back ahead by 14.  Back to back Maryland buckets cut the lead to ten, but Ohio State answered with a Liddell free throw and a Young three to put Ohio State back up 14. A Maryland triple cut the lead back to 11, but Young increased the lead to 13 with a rebound and put back. A Maryland technical foul led to a pair of Walker free throws to give Ohio State a 15-point lead and 8:40 to go. Maryland cut the lead to 13, but Washington found Musa Jallow with a lob for a dunk to put Ohio State back up 15. A pair of Maryland free throws cut the lead to 13 before E.J. Liddell knocked down his first field goal of the game, coming with just over 7 minutes to goal, putting Ohio State back up 15. Two more Terp freebies trimmed the lead once again, but Young grabbed a rebound and went up for a powerful dunk to put Ohio State back up 15. The Terps would not quit, scoring the next six, cutting the lead to 64-55 at the final media timeout with 3:47 remaining. Two free throws each way kept the margin at nine before Walker knifed into the lane for a score to put Ohio State up 11. After a Maryland turnover, Washington lobbed to Liddell for a dunk giving Ohio State a 13-point lead with just a minute to play. A Maryland triple cut the lead to 10 and Walker was fouled in the backcourt. Walker knocked down both increasing the lead to 12. Another Maryland triple cut the lead back to nine and after a quick Ohio State timeout, Washington split a pair of free throws putting Ohio State up ten and Maryland scored once more to end the scoring and securing Ohio State’s fifth straight win.

Good teams find a way when their scorers aren’t scoring and the depth of this team was tested in the first half when Justice Sueing and E.J. Liddell were held scoreless. A barrage of three’s and solid half-court defense enabled them to weather the storm and make a run late in the half to build a lead they would never relinquish. That solid defense continued in the second half, forcing Maryland into several early turnovers and not allowing them to get anything easy offensively, holding them without a field goal for over a 14-minute stretch spanning both halves. The leading free throw shooting team in America, Ohio State once again knocked down their opportunities in this game, hitting 13 of their 15 attempts sealing yet another big road win. On a night when 2 of their 3 leading scorers struggled, the team still finds a way. The Terrapins were very physical with E.J. Liddell, bumping and digging at him at every touch and subsequently E.J. struggled to score just 7. Sueing, who had been playing at a high level during this latest stretch of winning basketball, was held scoreless, yet Ohio State still found a way and that is a good sign moving forward as the Buckeyes have a number of different guys who can hurt you and it definitely showed once again tonight.

The Buckeyes will take the floor again on Saturday at noon, hosting Indiana at the Schott. Tip time for that game is scheduled for high noon and airing on BTN.

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