After an overtime win over Illinois, the Maryland Terrapins are back to winning, and they proved they can outlast opponents.
Now, they just have to get back to winning consistently again.
The Terps (7-3, 1-1) will have the chance to do that Thursday night, as they start a six-game home stand against the Ohio University Bobcats.
Maryland’s game against the Illini was one of the best offensive games it has had all season. The Terps scored 92 points in Champaign, Illinois, and they shot 35-of-59 for 59 percent.
It was a big night for Maryland’s sophomores, as well. Together, Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan accounted for 69 percent of the team’s offense with 64 points.
Aside from the success of Maryland’s offense, the team also learned how to win in close games, which could help them later in the season.
The Bobcats (4-3) have not played in a true road game so far this season. They’re 3-1 at home — with a win in a 4OT win against Indiana State — but 1-2 in neutral sites.
Offensively, Ohio is a team that likes to shoot the basketball. They regularly shoot the ball at least 60 times, and they have only dipped below that mark once all season. And with a shooting percentage of 45.6 percent and averaging 80 points a game, it usually pays off.
Unlike Maryland, Ohio has a plethora of upperclassmen. Senior Mike Laster is one of Ohio’s biggest offensive threats. He has upped his production in the last four games by averaging 21.5 points a game, and he shoots 49 percent from the field.
Ohio has only played against one Power Five team all season — Clemson — but the Bobcats have proven they can play against better competition. They lost to the Tigers, but the final score was 81-76, and Ohio kept pace with Clemson for most of the game.
Maryland’s defense will have to start out strong in order to get Ohio’s shooters off balance. The Terps will either have to limit Ohio’s shot count or force players to take difficult shots. Freshman Bruno Fernando, who has made a habit of blocking shots this season, should see plenty of minutes, especially in the first half.
Huerter, Jackson and Cowan will need to keep up their hot streak as well. If the game ends up being a shootout, then all three of them will need to have big nights. Huerter, who has found his shot from long-range, might have another strong game from 3-point range.
This will also be a chance for Maryland to work on turnovers. There were signs of improvement against Purdue, but the Terps were back to their usual selves against Illinois. If Maryland can find a way to limit its turnovers and have a good night shooting the ball, then it should be an easy win.
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