Two teams that have stumbled in their latest stretch of games squared off in Maryland Tuesday night. The No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-4, 1-3 Big Ten) traveled to College Park to play the No. 12 Maryland Terrapins (13-2, 3-1) in a battle between two highly ranked Big Ten teams.
What started out with an 8-0 Buckeye lead turned into a brutal night offensively for Ohio State, as it hit just 31.3 percent from the field. The Buckeyes have now lost three consecutive games as they failed to score 60 points in all three. Here are The Lantern’s three takeaways from the game:
For most of the season, the Buckeyes could count on sophomore guards Duane Washington and Luther Muhammad to contribute with critical 3-pointers from outside the arc.
That was far from the case Tuesday night, as Washington and Muhammad went a combined 0-for-11 on 3-point attempts and shot an abysmal 2-for-17 from the field.
The Ohio State offense hit just 18.5 percent of its 3-pointers on 5-of-27 attempts. When the Terrapins extended the lead late in the game, the Buckeyes could not answer.
Knocking down pivotal 3s would have injected confidence into a mostly lifeless and off-target offense, but with the Buckeyes’ best shooters missing the mark, there was no real run at a late comeback.
Things started to unravel for Ohio State once Maryland fought its way back into the game and took a 28-22 lead into halftime.
With frustrations mounting, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann let his displeasure boil over as he was issued a technical foul for stepping onto the court and arguing with the officials early in the second half.
Several Buckeyes ran into foul trouble in the game as well. Redshirt junior guard CJ Walker fouled out, and shot just 1-for-6 in 25 minutes on the court.
Maryland took advantage and earned 17 points from the free-throw line. The Terrapins knocked down 45.7 percent of their field goals and never looked back from their lead at halftime.
After giving up just 52 points per game on average to its first eight opponents, the Buckeyes have allowed an average of nearly 67 in their next seven games –– of which they’ve dropped four.
Will of the Wessons
An average game from junior forward Kaleb Wesson and a standout performance from senior forward Andre Wesson might spell Buckeye victory much of the time, but not against Maryland.
The Buckeyes held the Terrapins without a score for the first 5:27 of the game and saw the Wesson brothers score eight of the team’s first 11 points. However, the 8-0 lead that Ohio State started the game with would be its largest of the night.
The Wessons scored three more points than the rest of the Buckeyes combined, as Kaleb led the team with 15, and Andre put up 14 –– nearly double his season average.
Andre Wesson scored twice in under a minute to keep the Maryland lead under single digits with less than six minutes to play in the game, but the lack of consistent shot-making from the rest of the team stifled the Buckeyes from stealing a win.
The Wesson brothers, alongside freshman guard D.J. Carton, accounted for 78 percent of the offense.
Ohio State does play again until Saturday, but it remains on the road for another conference challenge against a three-loss Indiana team.