After struggling with ball security in the first half, stifling defense allowed No. 11 Maryland (17-2 6-2 B1G) to defeat Ohio State (7-10, 3-5 B1G) 70-57. It was a tight battle throughout, however, the Terps used a strong end of the third and fourth quarter to increase their lead and separate for the win.
Ohio State played without their leading scorer and rebounder freshman forward Dorka Juhasz, who played well when Maryland defeated the Buckeyes 75-69 at the Xfinity Center on Jan 5. It was a homecoming for freshman guard Taylor Mikesell the Massillon, Ohio native returning back to her home state for the first time. Mikesell finished with 14 points shooting 50 percent from the field, playing strong defense against guard Carly Santoro.
In the second half head coach Brenda Frese employed a 3-2 matchup zone, which the Buckeyes struggled to counteract. Frese employed the 3-2 matchup zone in spurts in the first half, however, the Buckeyes outrebounded the Terps creating second opportunities. In the first quarter, the Buckeyes heavily outrebounded Maryland 13-6, creating seven second chance points.
Despite allowing several extra opportunities, the Terps were efficient offensively shooting 53.8 percent from the field in the first quarter. Junior forward Stephanie Jones scored six of her team high 20 points in the first quarter continuing her strong shooting this season.
Ball security has been an issue throughout this season for Maryland who committed 10 of their season high 23 turnovers in the second quarter. Similar to the first quarter, the Terps used strong shooting to stay in the game and not allow the Buckeyes to build a lead. Although Maryland struggled to hold onto the ball so did the Buckeyes, which the Terps scored 12 points off of in the first half.
Ohio State was firing on all cylinders offensively until the final 2:21 of the third where they were held scoreless. Capitalizing on their strong defense, Maryland closed out the quarter on a 6-0 run allowing them to build a 54-46 lead its largest of the game. Continuing the 3-2 matchup zone into the fourth quarter, the Terps held the Buckeyes scoreless the first four minutes extending their lead to 61-46.
The Buckeyes shot 16.7 percent from the field in the fourth quarter only making two of their 12 field goals, struggling with Maryland’s length and quickness. Santoro led the Buckeyes all night with 23 points, however, in the fourth quarter Santoro only scored two points struggling against the guard duo of Channise Lewis and Mikesell.
Maryland will now travel to Bloomington on Sunday to take on Indiana on Sunday with tip-off scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
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