(Photo Courtesy of Testudo Times)
Saturday in College Park, Maryland the Buckeyes, in what seemed like a late surge of hope, dropped one to the Terrapins, the nation’s 24th ranked team, and a soaring Anthony Cowan Jr. who dropped 19 points, and Bruno Fernando added another 14 along with 10 rebounds – 72-62. The Terrapins remain unbeaten at home in the Big Ten.
The Terrapins (21-7, 12-5) used a 13-0 run to take a 52-36 lead. That margin diminished to two points with 5:27 remaining on the clock as the Buckeyes rose in a feisty charge. Maryland held on to improve to 14-2 at home, including 7-0 in the conference.
With three Big Ten games left, including two at home, the Terrapins are in fourth place and in position to secure a double bye in the conference tournament. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes (17-10, 7-9) failed in a chance to earn a valuable road win against a ranked opponent and lift their chances to be invited into the NCAA tournaments.
Fernando scored all of his points following halftime, and reserve freshman Serrel Smith Jr. contributed a career-high 14 points for Maryland. Despite a slow start, Fernando secured his ninth double-double in his last 10 games.
Duane Washington Jr. scored 15 for The Ohio State University and Andre Wesson added 13, which has lost three of four and nine of its last 14.
Maryland led 39-36 before Fernando scored six points and Cowan added five in the pivotal 13-0 spree. Fernando started the surge with a three-point play, Smith hit a jumper and Cowan followed with a 3-pointer. After the Buckeyes missed its seventh straight shot, Cowan was fouled on an attempt from beyond the arc and sank two from the line.
The Buckeyes stormed back, getting points from five players in a 19-5 spurt that made it 57-55, capped by a line-drive 3-pointer by freshman Justin Ahrens.
In the next possession Ahrens was late reacting to Maryland ball movement and fouled Smith on an errant 3-pointer. Smith made all three free throws, Darryl Morsell followed with a pair of foul shots, and Aaron Wiggins capped the 7-0 run with a dunk off a pass from Fernando, who had snagged the rebound of a miss by Morsell.
That was enough to assure the Terrapins of a series sweep of the Buckeyes. The Terrapins beat the Buckeyes 75-61 back on Jan. 18.
Cowan scored 10 points to stake Maryland to a 33-28 halftime lead. The Terrapins missed five of their first six shots before going 12 for 18 with four 3-pointers.
BAD FOLLOW- UP
Coming off a 22-point performance against Northwestern, Ohio State’s 6-foot-9 sophomore center Kaleb Wesson was limited to seven points on 3-for-12 shooting. He came in averaging a team-high 14.7 points.
A BETTER VIEW
The Buckeyes are sinking fast after losing only once before 2019. They shot 35 ercent in the second half and 36.5 percent for the game, which spoiled one of their best ball-handling (just seven turnovers) and ball-hawking (nine steals) games of the season.
The Buckeyes will be hosting Iowa on Tuesday night, the rematch of a game won by the Hawkeyes 72-62 last month.