Led by guard Anthony Cowan with a game-high 19 points, No. 24 Maryland (21-7, 12-5) eventually wore down Ohio State (17-10, 7-9) with talent and toughness to the tune of a 72-62 win for the Terps.
Cowan was one of four scorers in double figures for Maryland. The Buckeyes were paced in the scoring column by freshman guard Duane Washington’s 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Washington connected on just one of his six attempts from three-point rage, but still found ways to score for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State entered this game without starting point guard CJ Jackson, who was held out due to a shoulder injury. In Jackson’s place was senior Keyshawn Woods, who finished with 10 points and three assists in 35 minutes of action.
True freshman guard Justin Ahrens also received his first start of the season. He responded with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point territory.
Leading scorer Kaleb Wesson was held to just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.
The first half of this game was close throughout, with no team leading by more than three points until Maryland’s Aaron Wiggins hit a jumper to give the Terps an 18-14 lead with 8:51 remaining in the first half. A layup from Cowan four minutes later made it 27-19.
Four-consecutive points from Duane Washington cut the lead in half, and a layup from point guard Keyshawn Woods made it a 2-point game.
Maryland’s Serrel Smith and OSU’s Woods traded three-pointers on the next two possessions to make it 30-28, but Smith finished the first-half scoring with a free throw and a layup in the final minutes to give the Terps a 33-28 halftime lead.
A layup from Fernando Bruno in the opening seconds of the second half gave Maryland a 7-point lead, but junior forward Andre Wesson answered right back with a three-point field goal. A few minutes later, Wesson added in a reverse dunk to make it 39-36 Terps with 16:25 to play.
Over the next five minutes, however, Maryland would go on a 13-0 run to stretch their lead to 52-36.
Justin Ahrens cut the lead to 10 with a three-pointer from the left wing. A minute or so later, Maryland answered with a three from Darryl Morsell to make it 57-46 with 7:52 remaining.
Ohio State then went on a 9-0 run thanks to three-pointers from Andre Wesson, Washington, and Ahrens.
On the ensuing possession, however, Ahrens fouled Serrel Smith while he was shooting a three. Smith made all three free throw attempts. Andre Wesson turned the ball over on the Buckeyes’ next possession, which was eventually turned into a dunk by Wiggins with 2:48 to play.
Ahrens hit another three on OSU’s next possession to make it 64-58 with 2:32 to play, but they would get no closer.
Maryland hit all six of their free throws down the stretch when the Buckeyes were fouling to cut into the Terps’ lead.
Ohio State shot just 36.5% from the field (23-of-63) in this game and attempted more three-point field goals (33) than two-point field goals (30).
The Buckeyes turned the ball over just seven times, but were outrebounded 40-28.
While he wasn’t necessarily a star, Justin Ahrens was certainly a bright spot. The quickness of his release and the confidence he has in himself as a shooter is going to pay great dividends in the years to come. If he continues to stay in the starting lineup, it will also pay dividends in the weeks to come. Sure, there are still defensive lapses, but Ahrens’ plus/minus of +10 was by far the team’s highest number.
+ Luther Muhammad’s shooting woes continue to continue. Today he was 1-of-8 from the floor. He made his first shot of the game — a three-pointer, but missed his final seven. This drought may not end for Muhammad this season, but he has already done enough to have people seeing a very positive future for him next season. Combine his skill set with the shooting that we are seeing from Justin Ahrens and Duane Washington, as well as the addition of DJ Carton next season, and the Buckeyes have the makings of a very talented group of young guards down the road.
+ The Buckeyes only turned the ball over seven times, with Muhammad committing three of them. Not having CJ Jackson put more pressure on Keyshawn Woods and Duane Washington, and yet they combined for 25 points, seven assists, and one turnover in 59 minutes.
The Box Score