Following the 12-point loss at Michigan over the weekend, the Ohio State women’s basketball team was trying to bounce back against No. 11 Maryland, but instead experienced the same offensive issues that have plagued the Buckeyes all season in a 70-57 loss Thursday.
Ohio State head coach McGuff said after the game that freshman forward Dorka Juhasz missed the game with an ankle sprain she sustained against Michigan and is day-to-day.
Freshman forward Aaliyah Patty took Juhasz’s place in the starting lineup for the first time this season and made her presence known, scoring nine points in the first half on four of five shooting.
Patty finished with nine points and four rebounds, which McGuff was impressed by.
“I thought she played hard,” he said. “Competed. It was a tough challenge playing against Maryland who has some of the best post players in the league.”
It was a slow start for the Buckeyes as a series of turnovers and misses at the rim gave the Terrapins an early 8-2 lead. But Ohio State responded with a 9-0 run of its own to take the lead halfway through the first quarter.
It was a mistake-filled game for the Buckeyes, finishing with 19 turnovers, 10 of which came in the first half, and 18 team fouls.
“[Maryland’s] good.They pressed in the beginning and bothered us a little bit, and I think we got that under control. But they were really active, they mixed some man and zone, gave us a little bit of problems,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “But man, we have some issues where we shoot ourselves in the foot. That’s the stuff that we’ve got to control and take care of.”
While the Buckeyes’ defense held strong in the first half, limiting Maryland to 32 points, the offense couldn’t get going for Ohio State.
Redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman and redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande were a combined 1-for-10 in the first half. As a team, the Buckeyes shot 40 percent from the field.
To redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro, offene was not the main issue in the 13-point loss.
“Our defense translates to our offense, and when we aren’t getting stops it really doesn’t help our offense,” Santoro said. “Tonight we just really had to lock down defensively because they’re obviously a very good scoring team, and we weren’t getting the stops we needed to which translated to our offense.”
A run late in the second quarter by the Buckeyes, however, brought them to within four points of Maryland. Santoro scored on consecutive possessions, and an added layup by Grande made it a two-point game. Grande added six points, three rebounds and four assists on two of eight shooting.
Coming out of the locker room at halftime with a 32-28 lead, Maryland scored two quick baskets, but Santoro’s hot streak continued into the third quarter, scoring eight points during a 10-2 Ohio State run to tie the game at 38.
Santoro led the Buckeyes with 23 points and added six rebounds. She was 10-of-18 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3.
With the momentum seemingly favoring the Buckeyes,the Terrapins went on a 16-8 run to close out the third quarter and scored five quick points to start the fourth as the Buckeyes suddenly found themselves down 13 points, leading to the Buckeyes’ second straight loss.
Even with the loss, Santoro was still encouraged about the team as they move past the loss.
“This shows how good we can be and how capable we are of beating the great teams,” Santoro said. “We just have to keep working night in and night out, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do no matter what.”
The Buckeyes shot 35.6 percent from the field and were five of 17 from beyond the arc. Santoro was the only Ohio State player to reach double digits.
Ohio State will return to the road on Jan. 28 to take on Minnesota.