On Thursday night, the Maryland Terrapins lost to Ohio State 91-69, marking their second blowout loss in the last three games. Conference play has not been kind to the Terps so far and things are not looking any brighter on the horizon.
Ohio State was not ranked coming into this matchup but they should be by next Monday. After knocking off #1 Michigan State on Sunday, the Buckeyes became one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten and they moved to 5-0 in conference play after stomping the Terps on Thursday.
Keita Bates-Diop has been one of the biggest standouts in the Big Ten this year, averaging 20 points per game. He led the way for the Buckeyes once again on Thursday by recording 26 points and eight rebounds. Overall the Buckeyes had an amazing shooting night to help lift themselves over the visiting Terps.
Just for comparison, Ohio State shot 52% from the field in their win over Michigan State last week and they shoo 56% against Maryland. The Buckeyes were even better from the three-point line, picking up 17 of their 32 baskets from beyond the arc. Three other players, in addition to Bates-Diop, finished with double-digit point totals.
Maryland was abysmal from the field all night. The Terps shot just 36% and got about 25% of their points from the free-throw line. Unlike past losses, the turnover margin was not to blame. Maryland coughed up the ball just seven times but still managed to lose in lopsided fashion.
Like in their loss to the Spartans last week, Maryland found themselves on the wrong side of a scoring run at the end of the first half. The teams were tied at 22 with eight minutes to play but the Buckeyes quickly took complete control with a 22-2 scoring run. Mark Turgeon did not call a timeout during this entire span even though the Terps were clearly not running their proper game plan. The Buckeyes defense was stout but when your team is forcing shots early in the clock and not hustling back on fast breaks, you need to call a timeout and reset.
The only player who didn’t have a terrible night for the Terps was Michael Cekovsky. The senior started his night by going 5-for-5 with ten points and finished with 18. Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter usually lead the way on offense but the two combined to shoot 7-for-23. Rounding out the starting lineup were freshmen Darrel Morsell and Bruno Fernando. The two have been electric in the past but were non-existent in Thursday’s loss, combining for six points on 1-for-9 shooting.
Its’ difficult to not be frustrated with this Maryland team. When they started the season there was a lot of promise and opportunity but that has faded pretty quickly. Certainly the injuries have had a big impact on their play but the opportunities to pick up quality wins continue to come and go.
The Terps have played a handful of games against quality opponents but their best wins are still against Butler and Penn State. Meanwhile, there are already at least three or four losses that will come back to haunt the Terps when the season is over.
Mark Turgeon and the Terps will take the weekend off before traveling to face Michigan on Monday. This presents yet another opportunity for Maryland to pick up a big win. Hopefully they can regroup and put themselves in a position to win down the stretch instead of falling behind early.
Image credit: Adam Cairns / TNS