By Megan Smedley
Two weeks ago, Maryland absolutely demolished Ohio State with a 100-65 victory. Sunday’s game was not a demolition. It wasn’t even close to one. It was not a pretty game either. Plus, Maryland was coming off a signature win against Iowa on Thursday night. But, at the end of the day, a win is a win.
“This was hard, because one, what happened at our place, and two, we’re coming off an emotional win on Thursday night and so we did a lot of mental approach to this game,” said head coach Mark Turgeon.
Maryland defeated the Buckeyes, sweeping them for the season, thanks to Melo Trimble and Ohio State’s poor free-throw shooting. Diamond Stone got his second consecutive start and made his presence known early. Maryland got off to a slow start, missing shots and committing turnovers. Robert Carter Jr. scored Maryland’s first six points but Ohio State jumped out to an early seven-point lead. Halfway through the 1st half, Maryland finally started connecting. Rasheed Sulaimon took over, setting up shots for Jake Layman and Melo Trimble. Robert Carter Jr. and Diamond Stone were strong defensively grabbing four and eight rebounds. Each had eight points through the half. The momentum shifted following a Damonte Dodd block. Sulaimon took the ball and sprinted to the paint before tossing it to Layman. Layman adjusted to nail the slam-dunk. Layman was dominant in the first half; he led the game with 12 points and seven rebounds. With strong defense, Maryland was able capture the lead and go into the half up 37-31.
“I thought Ceko and Damonte really helped us defensively, kind of settled in our defense,” said Turgeon.
Both teams opened the second half sluggish, not really connecting until five minutes in. The Terps, however, quickly got into foul trouble. Sulaimon and Carter Jr. took to the bench allowing Trimble, Layman and Nickens to step up. Trimble began doing what he does best, driving to the rim to maintain Maryland’s lead. Then came a six-minute lull with no field goals, allowing Ohio State to tie the game. Sulaimon returned from the bench to nail a three from beyond the arc. It was a one-possession game, that is, until Melo Trimble finally connected with his three.
“Melo’s Melo, when the games on the line, he makes plays and he did it today, said Turgeon. “He’s confident enough to keep shooting. Like Melo’s been since he’s been here, he’s a winner and he wins games for us.”
The Terps’ defense continued pressuring Ohio State, drawing foul after foul. One of Maryland’s strong suits is its ability to shoot from the line. The Terps shot 20-23 (86 percent) from the line while Ohio State only shot 14-24 (58 percent). Maryland also outrebounded Ohio State 40-33.
“Down the stretch again, when the game was on the line, our guys stepped up,” said Turgeon. “We really executed sets, and made some shots. Then we got to the foul line and made foul shots. We were really good the last four minutes of the game.”
Melo Trimble led the team with 20 points and four assists. Jake Layman earned his seventh career double-double and his third of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. With this win, Maryland improves to 19-3 overall (8-2 Big Ten). The team remains on the road and will face off against Nebraska on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. They return home for a Saturday afternoon game against Purdue.