With this being Maryland’s final appearance as a member of the ACC in the ACC/B1G Challenge, Wednesday’s match-up was a glimpse of what life could be like when the Terrapins move to the B1G in 2014. It certainly wasn’t a pretty picture as Maryland was manhandled by number-five Ohio State 76-60.
Turnovers were one of the main reasons for Maryland’s struggles as they turned the basketball over 14 times, including 10 giveaways in the first half. Despite falling behind early, the Terps were able to trim Ohio State’s lead. With 5:49 remaining in the opening half, forward Evan Smotrycz hit a jumper that cut the lead to 27-20. That was a remarkable achievement, given the start that the Buckeyes had out of the gate.
Ohio State made five of their first six three-point attempts in the first half. Guard LaQuinton Ross hit his first three attempts from beyond the arc. Maryland’s perimeter defense was certainly questionable through the opening 10 minutes. The Terps didn’t close out on Ohio State’s dangerous outside shooters.
Smotrycz scored nine of Maryland’s first 20 points (3-of-5 from the field). The former Michigan Wolverine finished with 15 points (6-of-12) and seven rebounds.
After Maryland cut the lead to seven, things got out of hand. The Buckeyes capitalized on several Terp turnovers and took a 17 point lead into halftime.
Unfortunately for Maryland, things didn’t get any better in the second half. For every basket the Terps would convert, the Buckeyes would answer at the other end. Ohio State guard Aaron Craft was sensational as he played phenomenal defense and distributed the ball with extreme precision.
Guard Dez Wells paced Maryland with 19 points (8-of-17) and three rebounds. Wells didn’t play very well in the first half, but was extremely aggressive in the second half. He got to the rim at will and kept the Terps from getting blown out by an even bigger margin.
Forward Charles Mitchell also turned in an admirable performance as he netted 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He was able to establish position inside and had several close-range shots.
The Terps struggled from beyond the arc as they only made two of 18 three-point attempts, which is usually their bread and butter. Leading scorer Jake Layman looked out of sorts and only scored two points on one-of-nine shooting.
Maryland will take the court again on Sunday in the BB&T Classic, where they will face a tough George Washington squad.