Initially uninterested in starting the second half with a casual approach, Ohio State reaped its penalties for indifference and kicked out a winnable game in Maryland.
College Park, Maryland – Losses from the most painful losses of a developing team ideally diminish when those losses teach lessons and show growth in the second half of the season.
If six-year head coach Chris Holtman’s first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance happens at OSU, it looks like Ohio State is going backwards when it should be moving forward.
Sunday’s gut-wrenching 80-73 loss in Maryland evoked images of the Buckeyes’ 75-60 rollover-and-playdead effort at the XFINITY Center early last March, and the Big Ten’s Eliminated them from title contention. .
But to make matters worse, Ohio State (10-5, 2-2 Big Ten) learned little from their losses to North Carolina in New York and to Duke at home to Purdue on Thursday. It became clear that I was not.
Duke at Cameron Indoors would have been a huge achievement, but he was there to win all three games. But his two remaining wins were only gift-wrapped for opponents who failed in the second half in every conceivable way offensively and defensively, though he was in the Buckeyes’ hands in the final seconds. .
OSU began working towards surrendering the game in Maryland (11-5, 2-3).
After a 13-3 run in the first half in which Maryland missed 15 of 16 shots, the Buckeyes scored three in the first 51 seconds of the second half, four in 1:16 in the first, and 4 in the first 1:16. I committed 5 turnovers. 37.
OSU did not attempt the first second-half field goal until 2:32 had passed. By then, Maryland owned a 40-39 lead, which extended to 48-39, with the Buckeyes back on Isaac Riquele’s put-14:17.
“It (the run) was definitely a big part of it and the defense of the second half,” Holtman said of the 14-0 Maryland burst that led to OSU’s first losing streak of the season coming into the second half.
Maryland extended the margin to 60-46 playing in 9:41 before Ohio State woke up and recovered within 62-59 in 6:16.
There was enough time left to execute a comeback against a Maryland team that entered after losing five games in a row.
However, the Terrapins have likely already overcome their lingering self-doubt from that streak, proving themselves that their previous predicament doesn’t apply to this day.
OSU enabled that confidence by allowing the Terps, who had scored less than 20 points in each of their previous two losses, to surpass that total in the first eight minutes of the game.
And each time Maryland reverted to its previous aggressively challenging ways, Ohio State University provided support by allowing very frequent second-chance opportunities.
The Buckeyes trailed a rebounding battle 24-15 at halftime, depressingly and then worse on the grass.
Maryland finished with a 40-26 rebounding edge overall, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds against just 19 defensive boards by the Buckeyes.
Wait… Focus on 6-1 Maryland guard Jermeel Young’s game-high 11 rebounds before waiving OSU inadequacy for center Zed Kee out with shoulder injury I want you to.
That’s right, the 6-1 guard has four more rebounds than Ohio State team leader Bryce Sensebaugh’s seven, and Young’s five offensive rebounds are below the Maryland basket, who also had five. stray shots recorded by all Buckeyes. of his board at that end.
Rebounding is an effort…Mayland had enough. This is shown by his double-digit scoring from each of his five starters, including Young’s 30, but OSU has failed to supply in critical situations.
Trailed by three with five minutes remaining, Sean McNeil of the Buckeyes was badly beaten on a dribble drive to the basket and compounded the failure by fouling Young when he scored on a three-point play.
OSU took a 71–68 lead on Roddy Gale’s second consecutive goal, but after a rebound that bounced into the corner, Sensarbaugh fouled a player for the fourth time who was chasing it.
The resulting free throws built a four-point lead, and Gale stormed into the sudden and surprising role of OSU’s scorer and playmaker in crunch time, throwing away all chances to reduce on opposing turnovers.
Why was point guard Bruce Thornton sitting and watching the possession?
As Gail hammers into the teeth of Maryland’s defense, Rikele, Ohio’s glue man and constantly touted as a steady hand in just such situations, wondered why perimeter watched. is it?
Those are fair questions, and Ohio State turned its NCAA résumé-making win into a crushing loss through inattention to detail, poor effort, and inaccurate execution as late-game pressure mounts. The more you change it, the more that variation will continue to occur.
Maryland made hay with the same kind of backcourt pressure that North Carolina and Purdue have applied within the past three weeks.
The fact that it continues to upset the Buckeyes guarantees we’ll see more at home against Minnesota on Thursday (6-8, 0-4), and OSU’s generous nature is on the rise. It is certainly an attractive prospect for a first league title.
“It’s a long season and we have a lot of games against a lot of really good teams,” Holtmann said. We have to play with the Minnesota team, it’s our responsibility and we’re expected to do so.”
If there is anything beyond the coach’s simple optimism that lends credence to that belief.