No. 12 Maryland women’s basketball will look to get back on track as it hosts Big Ten foe Ohio State at the Xfinity Center for the team’s first game in 2020.
Last time out, the Terps faltered and could not respond against the Northwestern Wildcats — ultimately falling 81-58. Despite three Terps reaching double-figure points and the team winning the rebounding battle, two Wildcat players surpassed 23 points each during the rout.
Ohio State has had a challenging schedule and an up-and-down season in terms of results, but will be riding high after knocking off No. 24 Minnesota on the road.
This Big Ten matchup is set to tip off at 7 p.m. in College Park and will be televised on ESPN2.
Ohio State Buckeyes (8-5, 1-1)
2018-19 Record: (14-15, 10-8)
Head coach Kevin McGuff is in his seventh season leading the Buckeye program and is attempting to bring the team back up to his standards after a lackluster season a year ago. Under his tutelage, Ohio State reached four straight NCAA Tournaments after the team posted a 17-18, 5-11 record in his first season.
Players to watch
Sophomore forward Dorka Juhász (No. 14) leads Ohio State with 12.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Standing at 6’4, she is a force inside who averages 27.9 minutes per game — over three minutes more than Stephanie Jones or Shakira Austin give individually per game.
Junior guard Braxtin Miller (No. 10) has spent the most time on the floor for the Buckeyes this season, tallying 397 minutes — an average of 30.5 per game. Miller has done well since transferring in from Oklahoma State, averaging 7.2 points and 3.76 assists per game.
Sophomore guard Janai Crooms (No. 3) is the most complimentary guard to Miller, averaging 7.6 points per game and leading the team with 3.84 assists per game. Crooms has struggled, however, with a team-leading 44 turnovers so far this season — 17 more than any other player.
Shooting percentage. Despite averaging just 69.1 points per game, Ohio State has shot at a rate of 44 percent from the floor so far this season. This however has not translated behind the arc, as the team has combined to shoot just 28.3 percent from three-point range.
Turnovers. Ohio State is a team that turns the ball over just as much as it forces loose from opposing team — exactly even at 17.4 turnovers given up and 17.4 turnovers forced per game.
Three things to watch
1. Who else will step up for the Terps? Senior Kaila Charles has stepped up and been a leader for Brenda Frese and Co. the last few times out, but it will take a concerted and consistent team effort to reach the levels this team hopes to be at.
Jones was able to lead Maryland scorers with 14 points against Northwestern, and it would help the team if either Jones or Austin were able to cement themselves into a consistent starring role inside.
2. Who will win the turnover and rebounding battles? Maryland’s season has been defined by its ability to force turnovers, as well as its struggle to rebound. Ohio State presents a chance for the Terps to focus on taking care of the ball, continue its positive streak on the boards and turn that into a positive outcome. Being able to play consistent all-around basketball and focusing on the basics should be the priority against Ohio State.
3. How will the team bounce back? The 2019-20 season has been a wild one for women’s college basketball as many top teams have been stunned and the top 25 is ever-changing. For Maryland, this means the season certainly isn’t over despite already tallying three losses, but it will take severe corrections to get back to the heights that the program strives to maintain.