No. 4 Ohio State Upset By Maryland, 82-61, In Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals

By March 8, 2024 (2:34 pm)Basketball

No. 4 Ohio State (25-5, 16-2 Big Ten) suffered a stunning upset in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals on Friday, falling 82-61 to Maryland (19-12, 9-9) and ending the Buckeyes’ hopes of winning both the regular-season and tournament titles.

Ohio State led after the first quarter but was outplayed the rest of the way as Maryland shot 42.5 percent from the field and held a 55-31 advantage in rebounds over the Buckeyes, as well as an 18-11 advantage in points off turnovers.

Maryland set the tone early, taking an 8-3 lead with 6:28 left in the first with the only points coming on a three-pointer from Rebeka Mikulášiková. Ohio State responded with an 8-0 run that included two baskets from Taylor Thierry to make it 11-8 with 4:49 left.

The Buckeyes eventually increased their lead to 17-12 at the end of the frame after a free throw from sophomore forward Cotie McMahon, though it was the only way she was able to score early on, with her first basket not coming until late in the first half.

After trading scores to open the second quarter, Maryland – behind a trio of three-pointers from Jakia Brown-Turner and Brinae Alexander – took off on an 11-0 run to go up 26-19 with 5:32 left in the half. Sheldon broke the run with a jumper, scoring Ohio State’s first points of the frame with 4:51 left, but the Terrapins extended the lead to 33-24 with 1:36 left.

A furious back-and-forth then took place over the final minute and a half of the quarter, with five combined baskets – including the first make of the game for McMahon – that ended with a buzzer beater by Maryland’s Shyanne Sellers to give the Terrapins a 38-30 lead at the half.

Ohio State shot just 36.4 percent from the field – including 1-of-9 shooting for McMahon – and 30.0 percent from three in the first half, and faced a 29-15 disadvantage in rebounds.

The Buckeyes cut the deficit to 40-35 after baskets in succession from Mikulášiková and Jacy Sheldon. McMahon later made it 42-39 after two free throws, a shooting foul during which she was also called with an intentional foul after she made contact with Maryland guard Bri McDaniel, but the Terrapins missed both at the line after McMahon’s foul.

But Maryland bounced back from the missed free throws with a 9-0 run to take a 51-39 lead with 4:04 left in the third, leading to a timeout by Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff. Celeste Taylor hit a three-pointer out of the break to end the 4:10 scoring drought, but the Terrapins answered with a three-point play to maintain a 54-42 lead with 3:10 remaining.

Maryland continued building momentum late in the third, as after another three-pointer from Alexander, McGuff was called for a technical foul after arguing that a foul should have been called for contact against McMahon. Terrapin guard Shyanne Sellers knocked down both free throws and hit another pair after a shooting foul by Thierry to lead 63-46 with 1:36 left.

Ohio State could have folded at that point, but it instead answered with an 8-0 run – including five points by McMahon – to cut the deficit to 63-52 in the span of just 51 seconds, eventually trailing 65-52 entering the fourth.

Taylor began the fourth with a jumper, but Maryland continued to hold the lead with the game’s next six points to maintain a 71-54 advantage with 7:45 left. Thierry hit two free throws just 20 seconds later, but Ohio State was then held without a point for 3:40 as Maryland’s lead increased to 76-58 with 3:45 left in the contest before closing things out.

Mikulášiková led the Buckeyes with 16 points, while Thierry had 13 points, McMahon had 12 points and nine rebounds and Sheldon had 10 points. Sellers led Maryland with 25 points, while Alexander and Brown-Turner each finished with 19 points. Masonius also had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Maryland will play the winner of fifth-seeded Nebraska and fourth-seeded Michigan State, which was set to tip off 25 minutes after the conclusion of the Terrapins’ win. Ohio State will now await its seeding for the NCAA tournament, which will be announced on March 17.

image_pdfClick for PDFimage_printClick to Print