Maryland basketball dominated the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon, keeping a perfect record at home for the season in a 100-65 win before an announced sellout of 17,950 at Xfinity Center.
The Terps dropped 100 points on Ohio State, running them out of the gym. It was Maryland's first triple-digits scoring output since Dec. 5, 2012, against Maryland Eastern Shore. For Ohio State, that wasn't great.
Robert Carter Jr. showcased his versatility, draining shots from just about everywhere to set a new career-high mark with 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting. Sticking to his usual tendencies, Carter's efficiency was off the charts and despite shooting 28.9 percent from 3-point range on the season, nailed all four of his tries.
Maryland's two-headed beast of a backcourt returned following a disappointing showing in the Terps' first conference loss at Michigan on Tuesday. Melo Trimble still didn't find his rhythm shooting the ball, but had no issue finding his teammates. He finished the game with 8 points, but more impressively with 9 assists to 3 turnovers. Rasheed Sulaimon finally found his range, connecting on four 3-pointers for his highest scoring total as a Terrapin with 22 points.
The Terps offense was en fuego in the latter stages of the first half. In the final 6 minutes, Maryland scored 17 points, including 7 unanswered. Maryland jumped out to an 18-point, 48-30 lead, notching its highest opening half point total of the season against a steady Buckeyes defense, which had ranked No. 20 in defensive efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy.
Carter started hot, opening with the Terrapins' first 8 points, and finishing the half with a game-high 15 points on 9 field goal attempts and 1 try from the stripe, converting an and-1. He played crucial inside-out basketball, draining two 3-pointers, which drew defenders out on him, opening up scoring opportunities for Diamond Stone.
Stone finished the half with 7 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes, joining Layman and Carter as finishers of and-1 opportunities. Those were the Terps only 3 attempts from the free throw line.
Melo Trimble went scoreless until the second half despite Maryland's high point total, but still contributed mightily on the offensive end – despite turning the ball over 3 times – dishing 6 assists, passing his season average in 18 minutes. His backcourt companion Rasheed Sulaimon returned to his normal self after scoring only 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting in his previous two games, going 5 for 6 for 13 points.
The second half was just as explosive as the first for the Terrapins. Maryland finished its final 20 minutes with 60 percent shooting, giving the Buckeyes no hope of a comeback. Maryland was able to clear its bench early and cruise to the century mark in a wildly relaxing win at home.
Maryland now stands at 16-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. Though it's likely to lose its No. 3 ranking, this game will be fresh in voters' minds to lessen the fall in a relatively unimportant January ranking.
Three things to know
1. Rasheed Sulaimon returned. It wasn't just Trimble who fell off the map in Maryland's loss at Michigan, as Sulaimon also struggled until the game's final minutes. Saturday afternoon was a get-back-to-normal game for the veteran, who scored a career high in a Maryland uniform with 22 points, going 4 of 5 from deep. He took over dish duties for a stretch as well, with 5 assists.
2. The Michigan loss didn't sit well with the Terps. They hardly needed a "redemption game," as the team dropped just two games out of its first 17, but Maryland proved it could bounce back and filled the basket all day. The Terps appear very much back on track for a special season.
3. Maryland's transfer class is one for the ages. Rasheed Sulaimon and Robert Carter combined to tie the entire Buckeyes lineup with under-7 to go at 47 points. Carter torched Ohio State's defense for 25 of his own and the duo combined to miss just four shots on 23 attempts.