After suffering its first loss of the season, Maryland bounced back to defeat Ohio State 75-69 on Saturday at the Xfinity Center. The Buckeyes did not go down without a fight, battling the Terps on every possession.
The Buckeyes got off to a strong start in the first quarter, converting on four of their first five shots. Freshman forward Dorka Juhasz, Ohio State’s offensive leader, got the Buckeyes started with two early buckets. After starting out strong, Maryland ramped up the defensive intensity with the 1-2-2 full court press. As a result of the press and increased intensity the Terps forced Ohio State into five turnovers.
Junior guard Kaila Charles built off her strong fourth quarter against Rutgers, starting Saturday with nine points early, attacking the basket drawing contact and going to the foul line five times in the first quarter. Senior guard Sarah Myers gave the Terps the lead heading into the second quarter with a buzzer beater three and was quickly greeted by her ecstatic teammates.
After battling back and forth in the first quarter, Ohio State began to build a lead with an 8-0 run to start the second quarter. While slowly trimming the lead, junior forward Stephanie Jones sparked a 7-0 run for Maryland with strong play on both ends of the floor. Jones stole a Buckeye pass and converted the and-one to give the Terps the lead once again. Maryland built its seven point halftime lead by converting 15 points off of the 12 turnovers. Forcing turnovers allowed the Terps capitalize in transition, outscoring Ohio State 13-0 in fastbreak points at the half.
Despite trailing by seven at the half, Ohio State was not discouraged, playing stifling defense throughout the third quarter while holding Maryland to 25 percent shooting from the field. In addition, the Buckeyes improved ball security with no turnovers in the quarter allowed them to retake the lead 58-57 at the end of the third quarter.
Similar to the first three quarters, the fourth was a back and forth affair with neither team able to build a significant lead. Freshman guard Taylor Mikesell, who had been silent for most of the game, caught fire in the final quarter with nine points. With 3:06 remaining in the game, junior guard Blair Watson battled for a tough offensive rebound between two Buckeyes and kicked the ball out to Mikesell behind the arc. Mikesell set her feet and knocked down the open three to extend the Terps lead to four.
Maryland saved its best defense for the final quarter when it mattered most, holding Ohio State scoreless the final 2:12. The Terps also forced five turnovers, returning to the defensive grit and toughness of the second quarter. Rebounding has been Maryland’s key to success this season and the 9-5 rebound advantage in the final quarter prevented the Buckeyes from having second chance opportunities down the stretch.
With the win the Terps are now 13-1 (2-1 Big Ten) and will look to make head coach Brenda Frese the winningest coach in program history on Tuesday night on the road in Lincoln against Nebraska. Frese will have an opportunity to pick up her 500 win.
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