Although No. 24 Ohio State suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of top-ranked Purdue on Thursday at Value City Arena, the Buckeyes are pressing on with a road contest against Maryland approaching on Sunday.
The Buckeyes led for 25:39 of game action, and guard Sean McNeil’s go-ahead three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining gave Ohio State a 69-66 lead over the Boilermakers. However, Purdue scored the game’s final five points — including a game-winning three-pointer from guard Foster Loyer with 10.5 left — to stun the Buckeyes at home.
Despite the difficult defeat at the hands of the Boilermakers, Ohio State associate head coach Jake Diebler stressed that the Buckeyes cannot dwell on any loss while in the brunt of Big Ten play.
“(We) got to move forward,” Diebler said. “Obviously, we will review with the team some film and stuff, but we got to turn the page quickly. In this league, with this kind of turnaround, you got to be able to turn the page quickly.”
Prior to Ohio State’s battle with the Boilermakers, head coach Chris Holtmann recognized the unforgiving nature of Big Ten play, noting that losses are common.
“When you’re in this league, you understand you’re going to lose in this league. No one is going undefeated in this league,” Holtmann said. “That’s the reality of the depth of this league and why it’s consistently the deepest in college basketball.”
Looking ahead, Ohio State is set to clash with a Maryland team that hasn’t seen much success against Big Ten opponents this season. After opening conference play with a 71-66 upset over Illinois on Dec. 2, 2022, the Terrapins lost three-straight Big Ten matchups, falling to Wisconsin, Michigan and Rutgers. In their last two games, the Terrapins were outscored 145-96 by the Wolverines and Scarlet Knights.
Despite its recent struggles, Maryland boasts a quartet of double-digit scorers in guards Jahmir Young (13.9) and Hakim Hart (11.9) and forwards Donta Scott (12.2) and Julian Reese (10.0). The Terrapins are known for their defensive prowess, though, boasting the 29th-best adjusted defensive efficiency rating (92.9) by KenPom while holding opponents to 63.3 points per game on 40.0 percent shooting.
As the Buckeyes look to press on in conference play, Diebler said they expect a stiff challenge from the Terrapins.
“Their defense is their versatility, in their ability to have multiple guys that can guard multiple positions,” Diebler said. “I expect to see crowds like we’ve seen throughout the season, I think our guys have handled it pretty well. We have to continue to move the ball. We have to continue to move and cut.”
Ohio State hits the road for its next contest, trekking to College Park, Md. with tip-off set for 1 p.m. on ESPN.