Maryland women’s basketball racked up another road victory Thursday night, beating Ohio State 70-57 in Columbus.
Stephanie Jones had scored just 15 points combined in the past two games, but on the road against a Buckeyes team without its best player, she was able to dominate inside to the tune of 20 points. The junior was incredibly efficient as well, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
Taylor Mikesell had another strong game for the Terrapins, finishing second on the team with 14 points and leading seven assists. She continued her season-long assault from beyond the arc, nailing three of her seven shots from three-point territory. Shakira Austin racked up 11 points and scored eight points, but the freshman hit just two of her nine free throws on the night.
Ohio State’s leading scorer and rebounder, Dorka Juhasz, was absent from the game with a sprained ankle injury, leaving the Buckeyes without their best player. Carly Santoro stepped up in a big way in her stead, however, scoring 23 points to lead all players while adding six rebounds.
On a night where ball control was nowhere to be found, Maryland was able to win thanks to an impressive night shooting the basketball. The Terps were deadly from the field, hitting 51 percent of their looks and 6-of-14 from long range. Interestingly enough, the Terps had a tough night from the free throw line, making just 14 of their 23 opportunities.
A Mikesell three-pointer 18 seconds into the game kicked off the scoring, and it kickstarted an 8-2 run that allowed the Terps to get out to an early lead. But Ohio State hit consecutive bombs from long range to go on a lengthy run of its own to take the advantage right back. The teams traded baskets back and forth, no team hitting more than two shots in a row the rest of the way as the quarter ended with the score tied at 18.
Mikesell, the Big Ten leader in three-pointers made, continued to take advantage of open opportunities, hitting a pair in the second quarter to get Maryland out to a 28-22 advantage with less than three minutes to play. Santoro made sure the Buckeyes wouldn’t get blown out, scoring inside multiple times to keep the home team in contention.
Maryland held a 36-28 early to start the second half, but the game’s leading scorer would not let things get out of hand. The Buckeyes quickly went on a 10-2 run to tie the score midway through the third quarter, and eight of those points came from Santoro alone. After some basket trading saw the Terps lead by two with two minutes to play in the period, they scored the final six points to take a 54-46 lead into the final 10 minutes.
As they’ve done so many times this season, the Terrapins were dominant in the fourth quarter to win a game by a larger margin than the rest of the game would indicate. Sara Vujacic hit a shot 11 seconds into the period to get the lead to double-digits, and consecutive baskets by Channise Lewis grew the advantage to 15 points. Ohio State did its best to cut into the deficit, but it failed to make a significant enough dent to make the score close before the final buzzer sounded.
Maryland will be back in action on Sunday, travelling to Bloomington for a matchup against the Hoosiers. Tipoff is scheduled for noon ET and the game can be watched on the Big Ten Network.
Three things to know
1. Stephanie Jones made the most of her opportunity. The junior forward hadn’t made much of an impact in the last few games entering Thursday, but with Ohio State’s starting center sidelined, she had plenty of room in which to work. Jones led the team with 20 points, her second-highest scoring output of the season. She didn’t waste chances either, hitting 7-of-12 field goals and sinking six of her seven free throws.
2. Maryland still has a turnover problem. Taking care of the ball has been an issue for the Terrapins all season long, and that reared its ugly head on Thursday night. Maryland committed a worrisome 23 turnovers on the night, which led to its 70-point offensive performance despite such a solid shooting night. Fortunately for the Terrapins, Ohio State scored just 14 points off turnovers.
3. Dorka Juhasz’ absence loomed large. Despite being a freshman, Juhasz has been the best player for Ohio State all season long thus far. Not only has she racked up big numbers—12.1 points and 8.3 rebounds—but she’s been a big factor in the team’s shot selection, hitting 45 percent of her field goals. Without Juhasz on the court, Ohio State hit just 35.6 percent of its shots.