Maryland Tops OSU to Get Back to Winning Ways
Anthony Cowan led the Terrapins to victory with 19 points against Ohio State on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box file photo
COLLEGE PARK, MD - The Maryland Terrapins got off to a 9-0 start on their way to an 86-77 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes (15-11, 5-8). With the win, Maryland (21-4, 9-3) ends a season-long, two-game, losing streak and is now tied with Purdue for second place in the Big Ten.
 
Before last week’s losses to Purdue and Penn State, the Terps hadn’t lost consecutive games since 2015. Entering Saturday’s matchup after sliding from no. 17 to no. 21, Maryland looked like a team with an edge.

"Energy and preparation. We looked like a team throughout the whole game which I thought was huge for us,” said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. “I could tell our guys were dialed in the whole game."

As they have done all season, Maryland freshmen once again showed outstanding leadership. With leading scorer Melo Trimble struggling on 3-of-11 shooting for 10 points, freshmen Anthony Cowan led Maryland with 19 points including 10-for-10 from the charity stripe and Kevin Huerter added 18 on 7-of-12 shooting.

“It’s funny because this is how it works,” said a reflective Turgeon. “I met with Anthony on Thursday and I told him ‘In the last seven games I want you to lead the league in assists and be the best defender. I don’t care if you score.’ Then he goes for 19 points. Because you talk about that it takes the pressure off of the other part. He hit the first three and he got to the foul line which was great.”

Marc Loving tallied a game-high 24 points for Ohio State and Jae-Sean Tate had 20 in the loss. The Buckeyes were short-handed without JaQuan Lyle and in foul trouble for much of the game. Despite their efforts, with so much working against them, the Buckeyes fell behind early and couldn’t recover.

Ohio State fought back from an early 9-0 hole to get to within 11-13 midway through the first half but Maryland answered with an 11-2 run to extend its lead to double-digits. The Buckeyes would never really threaten to take the lead, getting to within single digits on a couple of occasions but ultimately falling behind 45-31 at halftime.

“We were undermanned and in foul trouble the whole game and it really made it challenging,” said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. “As I told our guys, the things that Maryland would have to do to beat us, they did.”

Ohio State began to slowly chip away at Maryland’s lead in the second half but every time they got to within single digits, Maryland had an answer. A Tate jumper cut the Maryland lead to 49-40 with less than three minutes into the half but a few possessions later Huerter responded with a 3-pointer to put Maryland up 12.

Even though they were in control, the Terps couldn’t quite shake Ohio State. The Buckeyes cut it to 56-50 on a C.J. Jackson 3-pointer at the 13:05 mark and seemed poised to make a run. Maryland responded with a 10-4 run, capped by a Cowan three-point jumper to take a 66-54 lead.

On an evening when the University of Maryland men’s basketball program honored legendary, former head coach Lefty Driesell the Terps were not to be denied. Driesell, who coached Maryland to 348 wins from 1969-1986, had his name lifted to the rafters at Xfinity Center before the game. Driesell had spent the past couple of days reminiscing over his time at College Park and served as a source of pride and inspiration for the current Terps.

Maryland hadn’t lost three games since 2012 and facing an undermanned Buckeyes team, wouldn’t on this night.  Kam Williams hit a 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining to bring the Buckeyes within 80-75. Cowan answered with his second 3-pointer a couple of possessions later and the Terps finished the game off at the free-throw line.

"What a great day,” said Turgeon after the win. “We got to honor Lefty. We had a great 24 hours with him. He was at practice yesterday and spoke with the team. I told a lot of stories to my team about him, things he's done in his career. He gave the guys a lot of great advice. I heard the ceremony went great. More importantly, we're undefeated when he's in the building so I felt pretty good going into the game. It was great to see, very well deserved."

Maryland next travels to face Northwestern on Wednesday. The Wildcats (19-6, 8-4) are a game behind the Terrapins in the Big Ten and like the Terrapins are 3-2 in its last five matchups. Game is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:00 pm EST.

Game Notes:

The Terrapins finished with 19 assists and only eight turnovers while forcing Ohio State into 14 miscues.

The Terps bench outscored Ohio State 33-0 for the game

Charles "Lefty" Driesell went 348-159 from 1969 to '86. Though supplanted by Gary Williams as the winningest coach in school history, Driesell still has the best career winning percentage .686