The Buckeyes held a lead going into the half, but the start of the second stanza would be crushing for Ohio State. Maryland would build a 14-point lead and never relinquished it through the end of the game, winning 80-73.
It was the second loss in-a-row for the basketball Bucks, who fell to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play. It is the first losing streak this season and the Big Ten portion of the schedule is just getting started.
There wasn’t much good to come out of this game, as it was a struggle for Ohio State much of the contest even with the halftime lead. Find out what we learned from this Buckeye defeat.
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The book is out on how to beat this team
The Buckeyes didn’t handle Purdue’s press as they fell late on Thursday. They didn’t handle it well out of the half when Maryland went to it as well. The offense struggles to get into a rhythm, while multiple turnovers in the backcourt gave the Terrapins extra possessions. You’d think that with veterans guards on the roster, this wouldn’t be an issue. Bruce Thornton needs to really improve in this area as he’s just a freshman. Chris Holtmann needs to find an answer when teams get into full-court pressure.
Zed Key was sorely missed
Key is the rock in the middle and the Buckeyes missed him badly today. Felix Okpara isn’t ready to be a starter in the Big Ten yet, him coming off the bench and bringing energy is the perfect role for him right now. Asking the freshman to play big minutes and produce isn’t the ideal situation. Okpara struggled to 2 points, zero rebounds, and no blocks magnifying Key’s absence.
It was a bad rebounding performance
The Buckeyes allowed 14 offensive rebounds, and a total of 40 to Maryland. They grabbed just 26, seven of them on offense. It was a big struggle for Ohio State, especially the extra possessions the Terrapins got. In a close conference battle, any team can’t afford to give their opponent more opportunities to score. The Buckeyes margin for error is very slim when this happens.
Brice Sensabaugh “struggled”
When you see that the star freshman scored 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, you wouldn’t think Sensabaugh struggled but he did. He shot 7-for-18 from the field and ultimately fouled out. He was picked on while playing defense, part of that had to do with getting into foul trouble. Sensabaugh left the game too early when the Buckeyes were still close, they need his offense on the court in those situations. He has to get better about avoiding offensive fouls, it seems like he picks up at least one every game. If this is a bad Sensabaugh game, you know he’s a special player.
I don’t know if this was home-cooking for the referee’s but the Buckeyes committed 28 fouls on the day. Maryland was ten less, so it wasn’t all one-sided. Either way, the defense can’t allow this to happen, some of them fouls that just shouldn’t be committed. The 28 committed fouls translated to 33 free-throws attempts for the Terrapins, who made 27 of them. The team needs to play better defense and not get themselves into foul trouble doing so.