Ohio State, searching for its second straight win against a ranked road opponent, came up short, blowing a seven-point halftime lead in a 72-62 loss to No. 17 Maryland.
The Buckeyes came in as the worst three-point shooting team in the Big Ten, making only 28.4 percent from deep on the season. The Terrapins came in averaging 24.2 turnovers forced per game, tied for No. 5 in the country.
Both of those statistics were key in the matchup Monday, with Maryland forcing 25 Ohio State turnovers, while the Buckeyes turned their deep struggles around in the first half, hitting six of 13 attempts from three.
“We played really well the first half, I thought we handled their pressure we moved the ball offensively,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “We got great shots, and we played really stout defensively, but then in the second half we just turned the ball over way too much to give ourselves a chance to win.”
That deep shooting eventually went cold, with Ohio State hitting only two of 13 attempts in the second half.
After only committing one turnover in the first quarter, the Buckeyes committed 20 over the next 17:53, which allowed Maryland to take a 51-49 lead late in the third quarter.
On the night, the Terrapins scored 26 points off turnovers compared to Ohio State’s 13.
That two-point lead kept expanding for Maryland, almost completely due to the play of its star player.
Maryland senior guard and preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Kaila Charles had a standout performance, finishing with a season-high 28 points on 13-of-19 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds and four steals.
“She’s a great player and I thought when we kept her in front and kept her off the boards we did a decent job,” McGuff said. “She’s one of the best players in the country, she played like it tonight, and you know, in the second half she was just driving by us and offensive rebounding and we didn’t have an answer for it.”
After leading 42-31 in the second quarter, Ohio State was outscored by the Terrapins 41-20 the rest of the way, including a 13-0 Maryland run in the fourth quarter, leading to the 10-point loss. In the final 20 minutes, the Buckeyes shot 28.6 percent and committed 15 turnovers.
The shift in momentum was much in thanks to Maryland’s full court press defense that continuously stymied Ohio State’s offense and led to turnovers.
“We knew they were going to do it, and we prepared and I thought we did a great job in the first half,” McGuff said. “I think the thing in the second half is we allowed too many mistakes to then turn into two and three and four mistakes instead of just limiting it to one and moving on to the next play.”
The Buckeyes continued to start freshman guards Jacy Sheldon and Madison Greene, the first of which had a very strong game in the role. Sheldon ended the night with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Ohio State returns home to face No. 24 Michigan on Thursday.
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