Jerome Tillman scores 20 points to help Ohio stun Maryland 61-55
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP)—It was a glorious moment for his program, yet Ohio coach Tim O’Shea could not fully enjoy it because he knew how badly Maryland coach Gary Williams felt.
Ohio handed the Terrapins their fourth non-conference home loss in the last 19 seasons, getting 15 points and 15 rebounds from Leon Williams in a stunning 61-55 victory Wednesday night.
Maryland was 131-3 at home against competition outside the Atlantic Coast Conference since Williams took over the program in 1989, including 50-2 since moving into the Comcast Center in 2002.
The losses were to Coppin State in 1989, Florida in 2002 and Manhattan in the 2006 NIT.
Add Ohio to the list. The Terrapins cut a 17-point deficit to 58-55 with 50.9 seconds left, but could not complete the comeback.
“We allowed them to dictate the whole game,” Gary Williams said. “We had a nice run at the end, but we’re not here to make nice runs at the end.”
O’Shea played for Williams more than two decades ago at Boston College, one reason why Ohio received a guarantee to play this game at Maryland. Turns out, the Bobcats got paid for one of their biggest wins in years.
“When you play guarantee games, teams at home usually win about 95 percent of the time,” O’Shea said. “I know this isn’t Gary’s best team, but to get a win here is special. Part of me feels badly because for him it’s a tough loss. I’m really happy for my team, but I know it’s a tough thing for him to lose a game like this at home with the ACC schedule in front of him. As a coach, I can really feel for Gary in his situation.”
Jerome Tillman scored 20 for the Bobcats (6-2), who never trailed. Ohio led by 11 at halftime, expanded the margin to 17 with 11:18 left and held on at the finish.
Ohio’s two losses this season have both been by two points, at Holy Cross and at Temple.
Maryland (6-5) was undone by poor shooting, sloppy ball-handling and insufficient rebounding. The Terrapins shot 40 percent, committed 15 turnovers and were out-rebounded 37-27.
“We emphasized breaking pressure, transition defense and rebounding,” O’Shea said. “We did all three tonight.”
Maryland was 10-0 against teams from the Mid-American Conference, including a win over Ohio in 1981, the only other meeting between the schools.
Grievis Vasquez led the Terrapins with 13 points, though he missed 11 of his 16 shots from the floor. James Gist scored eight of Maryland’s first 14 points, but he didn’t score again before fouling out with 5:14 to go.
The Bobcats led 38-29 before a tip-in by Leon Williams launched a 10-2 run that made it 48-31. It was 58-46 before a 3-pointer by Vasquez, a dunk by Adrian Bowie and a jumper by Vasquez got the Terrapins within five with 3 minutes left.
Maryland missed several chances to get closer until Dino Gregory made a tip-in with 50.9 seconds to go. But Williams made one foul shot with 27.5 seconds left to secure the win.
Leon Williams and Tillman had 9 points apiece, and Ohio frustrated the Terrapins with a tightly packed zone in taking a 34-23 halftime lead.
Ohio made its first five shots from the field, including 3-pointers by Tillman and Justin Orr, to go up 12-4. The Terrapins got within two points before Williams made a layup and a three-point play to put the Bobcats ahead 21-14. Minutes later, Ohio went on a 7-0 run to make it 30-18.
“We didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to win this game,” Gist said. “That’s what happens in college basketball. You lose games like that.”