Maryland men’s basketball looked to bounce back with an upset after two consecutive losses at the Xfinity Center. The Terps traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on the No. 16 Buckeyes searching for a win over a ranked opponent for the third time this season.
However, the Terps could not find the upset on the road and fell to 11-12 on the season and 3-9 in conference play.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
Maryland had trouble getting shots to fall while Ohio State had no trouble scoring
With 14 minutes remaining, the Terps were shooting 33% from the floor hitting just three of their nine attempted field goals including 0-for-2 from the three. At that point, Ohio State held onto a double-digit lead after going on an 8-0 run hitting seven of its last eight field goals. The Buckeyes were 70% from the field on 7-for-10 shooting including 3-for-5 from deep.
With about eight and a half minutes to go, the Terps hadn’t scored a field goal in over three minutes missing five straight field goals and making just two of their last 12.
Maryland finished the first half shooting 32% from the field on 10-for-31 shooting. The Terps were just 4-for-14 from the three-point range. Ohio State who held onto the 42-29 lead after the first 20 minutes was shooting 62% from the field on 16-for-26 from the field and 45% from deep on 5-for-11 from deep.
“We have to be a lot more disruptive to their offensive flow and we have to reward ourselves for the execution,” interim head coach Danny Manning said. “We had opportunities to score the basketball. We missed some looks from the perimeter, we missed some looks inside the paint.”
In the second half, the narrative continued.
About 10 minutes into the frame, the Terps were still shooting well below 40% from the field and deep hitting just 15 of their 44 attempted shots from the field including six of their 20 attempted ones from three-point range.
However, toward the tail end of the game, the Terps started to find some rhythm hitting six of their last seven attempted field goals.
Although the Buckeyes ended the game on a scoring drought lasting over two minutes, the Terps could not find a way to slow down Ohio State while struggling to put up points of their own.
Maryland finished the game shooting at a 39% clip from the field while Ohio State shot 51%. Junior forward E.J. Liddell took some time to get going but ultimately put up 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Buckeyes.
Senior forward Justin Ahrens also had a strong shooting performance for Ohio State putting up 14 points all coming from either behind the arc or the charity stripe.
“We have to do a much better job with that resistance and not let them get to the spots they got to early on in the game,” Manning said about Ohio State.
Donta Scott showed fight throughout the entirety of the matchup
With 13 minutes remaining, Scott led all scorers with 20 points, scoring half of Maryland’s 40 points at that point. The Terps were trying to claw their way back out of the deficit and although Ohio State kept piling it on, Scott displayed his resiliency during the game.
At that point, he was shooting 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from both behind the arc and the free throw line.
“Just believing in my shot and just knowing that I’ll make the next shot,” Scott said on what ran through his mind while shooting against Ohio State. “If I shoot again, I’ll probably make it again and just keep my head up if I miss it.”
With about 11 minutes remaining, no one else on the Terps had cracked double-digit scoring until graduate guard Fatts Russell hit the 10-point mark with a deep shot.
Despite Ohio State holding onto an 18-point lead at the time of Russell’s shot, Scott took advantage of a missed possession by Buckeyes and added another three-point shot to the Terps’ score.
Scott finished the game leading all scorers by tying his career-high 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting including five three-point baskets. He also went 4-for-6 from the charity stripe, grabbed six rebounds and had one assist.
The junior forward finished his scoring day with a dunk in the final five minutes of the game to make it a 12-point game.
“It’s one thing to talk it and it’s another thing to walk it,” Manning said. “And Donta played with a higher level of energy today and had a good amount of fight for our team.”
Maryland now has eight games to finish the season above .500
After dropping three consecutive matchups to Indiana, then-No. 13 Michigan State and No. 16 Ohio State, the Terps fell to 11-12 on the season, their first time with a losing record since the 2013-14 season. Maryland has not finished with a season record at or below .500 in at least the last 22 years but is at risk of doing so this year.
Looking ahead, the Terps have Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska, Penn State, Indiana, Ohio State, Minnesota and Michigan State.
So far this season, Maryland is 3-0 in rematches picking up wins against Northwestern, then-No. 17 Illinois and Rutgers when it met each of those teams the second time. With Iowa next on the Terps’ slate, they have the opportunity to make that a 4-0 record in rematches.
The first time the Terps and Hawkeyes met, Maryland went into the locker room at halftime with a four-point lead but Iowa outscored the Terps 44-35 in the second half to walk away with the win. Now, Maryland has the opportunity to face the Hawkeyes again, this time in College Park.
After that, Maryland once again has another tall task ahead having to face the No. 4 team in the nation on the road in Purdue.
In the final moments of the game, senior guard Eric Ayala, who leads the Terps averaging 34.4 points per game, had a bit of a limp as he came off the court onto the bench. There is no update on his status yet, but if the Terps are without him at any point, that may pose a tougher road ahead.
“I’ll get my report from our trainer... and we’ll go from there,” Manning said. “So I know he got banged up a little bit that’s one of the reasons I subbed him out, but I couldn’t tell you what or how it happened.”
The Terps have the opportunity to avoid staying below .500 before the season comes to a close. However, with the Big Ten slate ahead, it will be nothing short of a challenge.