COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes was making big-time basketball plays all game long. The # 23 Buckeyes beat # 9 Maryland 79-72 before a sellout crowd in Value City Arena.
With the win, Ohio State’s overall record is now 18-9 overall and 8-8 in the BIG 10. It’s the Buckeyes’ first top-10 win since December and their fourth of the season overall.
OSU Luther Muhammad led all scorers with 22 points in the game and was problem on the wings for Maryland to guard.
“ This is who we need to be consistently. I think I expected that we would perform well because I believe we’re a competitive group. But I was tied in knots the last day and a half because sometimes it’s hard to read your group.” Ohio State Chris Holtman said.
Five OSU players – Muhammad, Kaleb Wesson, Andre Wesson, Walker, and Washington – scored in double figures. Kaleb Wesson had 15 points and nine rebounds.
“I felt good about the look in our older guys’ eyes,” Holtmann said, and the Buckeyes opened the second half with a 7-0 run.
“I’m just really proud of them,” Holtmann said.
He acknowledged these Buckeyes haven’t been in a lot of moments like Sunday. And he said when they were, they often made bad decisions.
“We’ve not always responded well to these moments,” Holtmann said.
But Sunday they did. They did it without Young, who hurt his ankle early and played just 10 minutes. They played without star freshman point guard D.J. Carton, which has been away from the team for the last seven games while dealing with mental health issues.
As a team, Ohio State hit 40% of their 3-pointers, making 10-of-25 shots from downtown.
The Terapins went without bucket made in the final five minutes of a back-and-forth first half that included six lead changes and six ties. Taking advantage of the opening, the Buckeyes went on a 13-6 run in the final 4:14 to take a 40-33 lead into the break. During that stretch, Muhammad hit two of his three first-half 3-pointers. He entered the break as the game-leading scorer with nine points.
The Buckeyes had a 14-point second-half lead, that slowly diminished. With 5:52 remaining in the game Ohio State managed to get some important defensive stops, they made 13 free throws down the stretch, got solid play from Duane Washington Jr. and C.J. Walker to close the game out.
OSU has now beaten four ranked teams this season. In the process, they snapped a seven-game losing streak against ranked Maryland teams dating to 2015.