By Alex Littlehales
Maryland Women’s basketball dropped its second game of the season Jan 2., as ninth-ranked Ohio State outmatched the Terps 80-71 at XFINITY Center. The Terps have now dropped two of their last three games (both coming against ranked opponents) and do not have a win against a team currently within the AP Top 25.
With an eight-point lead just before halftime, the script was set for another dominant Maryland home victory. However, Ohio State would not follow suit, erupting for a 10-to-3 run to start the second half. The Buckeyes went ahead by as many as 11, and it would prove too large for the Terps to handle.
The Buckeyes’ swarming defense contained junior center Brionna Jones all afternoon, holding her to 10 points with just two offensive rebounds.
“Jones was extremely fatigued from the minutes she had to play against UConn and the physicality of the last two games,” Head coach Brenda Frese said. “Credit Ohio State, they came in and took advantage.”
Without a dominant go-to interior presence, Maryland couldn’t effectively move the ball or get easy baskets.
Despite the added pressure on Maryland’s wing players, junior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough wrecked havoc defensively with four steals, and finished the night with 16 points.
Redshirt-senior and energizer Brene Moseley valiantly tried to will the Terps to victory, but her outstanding play was not enough to overcome the Buckeyes.
Moseley’s 20-point-10-assist performance fell under the radar to Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, who dropped 28 points while shooting 50-percent from the floor.
“She took over when she needed to,” said Frese.
Four Buckeyes scored in double digits, as Ohio State now adds Maryland to its list of marquee wins against Michigan State and Texas A&M.
The Terps are now 1-1 in conference play, and have dropped to No. 8 in the AP Top 25. Despite the loss, Maryland is still seen as one of the nation’s toughest teams to play against.
“Maryland has an unbelievable team,” Ohio State Head coach Kevin McGuff said. “They are very talented and play very hard.”
The loss also marks the break of a 31-game win streak against Big Ten competition.
“It was a great accomplishment,” said Frese. “I don’t think we ever set out to do it. We’re always on a one game mindset.”
Would Brenda Frese have liked to record at least a win against UConn or Ohio State? Absolutely, but the two losses do not change just how good this team can be. The Terps have great roster depth and enough talent to take them as far as a national championship.
Maryland returns to the XFINITY Center Jan 7. to face Iowa, who come to College Park ranked No.23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll with a 12-2 record.