After dropping their first game of the season against Rutgers No. 4 Maryland will look to bounce back against Ohio State on Saturday. Maryland 12-1 (1-1 Big Ten) will have a rematch of last year’s Big Ten conference championship game against Ohio State 4-7 (0-2 Big Ten). The Buckeyes have lost four consecutive games entering Saturday’s matchup.
In their eight point loss against Rutgers, the Terps were outrebounded for the first time all season and will look to reestablish their dominance on the glass against the Buckeyes. Maryland is seventh in the nation and top in the conference in average defensive rebounds per game. Freshman forward Shakira Austin is vital for Maryland on the glass, coming off one of her lowest rebounding performances of the season. Austin’s length and size are showcased on both the offense and defensive glass.
The Buckeyes are led by freshman forward Dorka Juhasz who is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. Austin and junior forward Stephanie Jones will be responsible for limiting Juhasz’ success in the paint. Juhasz is the only member of the Buckeyes averaging more than 10 points per game, therefore the defense will need to be aware of where she is on the court at all times. Forcing the other options on the Buckeye offense to beat them will serve as a good formula for the Maryland defense.
Juhasz is complemented by the duo of Makayla Waterman and Karly Santoro. Both are graduate students with extensive experience playing at the collegiate level. Playing against a top five opponent the Buckeyes will look to use their veteran leadership in a tough matchup on the road.
Offensively for Maryland the guard tandem of freshman Taylor Mikesell and junior Kaila Charles will look to build on their offensive success. Mikesell is coming off one of her better offensive showcases of the season with 18 points against Rutgers. Charles, the Terps offensive leader all season will look to build off her strong second half performance against Rutgers.
The Terps are at their best when they are balanced offensively getting contributions from both the veterans and freshman on the roster. Contributions from all over the court will make it more difficult for the Buckeyes to defend the Terps. Creating second opportunities on the glass will continue to be important for Maryland in this matchup.
First tip is scheduled for 4:00 p.m at the Xfinity Center on Saturday.