Ohio State gives Maryland taste of Big Ten in blowout win

Ohio State gives Maryland taste of Big Ten in blowout win
December 4, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Turgeon: "We didn't make shots tonight"

Maryland got an early welcome to the Big Ten and it was not a kind one, a 76-60 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State at Value City Arena in Columbus on Wednesday night.

Stifling Ohio State defense kept the Terrapins from getting much of anything going offensively and a flurry of points in garbage time made the game seem closer than the final 16-point deficit.

At the under eight-minute media timeout, Maryland trailed, 70-45.

Read more below.

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FINAL

Ohio State 76, Maryland 60

HEADLINES

BUCKEYES: THREE-POINTERS EVERYWHERE

Ohio State’s first nine scoring possessions--count them, nine--were three-point trips. Six of those were three-point shots and three more were the result of three-point plays, where Ohio State made a basket and was fouled, then converted on the free throw.

Maryland’s defense adjusted, but that became part of the problem. As the Terrapins got out on shooters, the Buckeyes simply drove by them for layups and there was very little pressure on the ball on the perimeter.

In the second half, the poor defense continued and Maryland fell behind by as much as 25 points at the under eight-minute media timeout.

Ohio State finished 8-of-18 from three-point range and shot 52 percent from the floor overall.

LAQUINTON ROSS HOT FROM START

Without Deshaun Thomas, the team's leading scorer from a season ago, Ohio State’s offense has been more balanced. Four players are averaging between 11 and 12 points per game, but it was LaQuinton Ross who got things going for Ohio State on Wednesday.

The Buckeyes’ offense wasn’t too complicated, predicated mostly on simple motion to create shots on the perimeter, but it worked. Ross hit his first four shots--all three-pointers--and had a season-high 17 points at the break. That 17 points was a season-high for a game.

As shots went elsewhere, he would score just one more basket in the second half, plus a free throw, to give him a season high. It was the second time in his career that he had reached the 20-point mark in a game.

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BEST DEFENSE + TURNOVERS = TROUBLE

Led by Aaron Craft, Ohio State has one of the nation’s best defenses. From nearly the opening tip, that was made clear. Maryland turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and 14 times on the night, which helped to spur the Buckeyes’ fast break and exploit the Terrapins’ weaknesses in the scattered court.

Ohio State scored 18 points off of turnovers in first half and held a 17-point lead at the break.

Craft, the catalyst for the entire system, finished with 10 points, six assists, and five steals on the night.

NO JAKE LAYMAN MEANS NO OFFENSIVE FLOW

Maryland offense ran like a well-oiled machine over the course of the team’s latest four-game winning streak because either Jake Layman, Evan Smotrycz, or both were hitting shots from the outside. That would force the defense to defend on the perimeter, which would opening up driving lanes for Wells and others.

On Wednesday night, Maryland could not find a groove from the perimeter. Layman had just two points in 34 minutes and shot 1-of-9 from the floor. He was assessed a technical foul late in the second half after an alley-oop slam by Ohio State's Sam Thompson.

Smotrycz warmed up mostly in the second half and finished with 15 points. Wells got hot in the second half too, again when the game was in hand, and had a team-high 19 points.