Big Ten roundup: No. 21 Maryland beats Ohio State to end 2-game skid

Associated Press
Maryland forward Justin Jackson, left,  drives around Ohio State forward Jae'Sean Tate in the first half.

College Park, Md. — Losing streaks don’t come often for Maryland, so the 21st-ranked Terrapins entered their game against Ohio State with an unyielding sense of purpose.

“I knew they were dialed in and ready to play well — and we did,” coach Mark Turgeon said after Maryland led from start to finish in an 86-77 win Saturday.

Anthony Cowan scored 19 points and fellow freshman Kevin Huerter added 18 for the Terrapins, who had lost back-to-back games for only the second time since January 2015.

After defeating Ohio State on Jan. 31, Maryland lost to Purdue and Penn State to fall from first to third in the conference standings.

“I feel like we learned from both of those games,” guard Jaylen Brantley said. “We know we lost to a great Purdue team a few weeks ago, and we couldn’t let it happen again.”

The difference in this one?

“Energy and preparation,” Turgeon said. “We acted and looked like a team throughout the whole game.”

The victory enabled Maryland (21-4, 9-3 Big Ten) to avoid its first three-game skid since 2012.

“It was definitely a big game. We had to come back and re-focus,” Cowan said. “Hopefully this gets us back to our winning ways.”

Marc Loving led the Buckeyes (15-11, 5-8) with 24 points and Jae-Sean Tate had 20. It was only the 10th time in 13 seasons under coach Thad Matta that Ohio State has been swept in the regular season by a Big Ten foe.

The short-handed Buckeyes were without guard JaQuan Lyle (leg injury) and did not get a point from the three reserves.

“We were undermanned and in foul trouble the whole game. It really made it challenging,” Matta said. “With what we had today, we did everything that we could.”

The loss hindered the Buckeyes’ bid to earn a 12th straight 10-win season in the Big Ten. Ohio State must go 5-0 the rest of the way.

The Buckeyes trailed by 16 in the first half and 70-58 with 8 minutes left before cutting the gap to 77-72. Then, with the shot clock about to expire, Huerter launched a lengthy 3-pointer from the top of the key that found the bottom of the net for an 8-point cushion with 2:08 to go.

Cowan clinched it with another long shot with 41 seconds remaining.

“I told (Huerter), ‘Your last 3 there was an over and back.’ He was so far back when he hit it,” Matta said with a forced grin. “Those guys stepped up. We wanted to make Cowan make shots and sure enough he did, three for four from 3.”

The Buckeyes closed to 56-50 with 13 minutes left on a 3-pointer by C.J. Jackson. It was 54-47 before Brantley and Cowan drained 3-pointers during a surge that upped the lead to 66-54.

Ohio State rallied once more, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

“I give Maryland credit,” Matta said. “They did the things they needed to do to beat us when they needed to do them.”

Maryland shot 55 percent, made seven 3-pointers and committed only four turnovers in taking a 45-31 halftime lead.

Minutes after the school honored former coach Lefty Driesell with a banner-raising ceremony, the Terrapins kept the feel-good spirit going by keeping the Buckeyes scoreless for the opening 4 1/2 minutes.

After Ohio State closed to 16-13, Brantley scored five points in an 11-2 spurt. Not long after that, two straight dunks by Michal Cekovsky made it 40-24.

More Big Ten

Minnesota 72, (at) Rutgers 63: Jordan Murphy scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds while Nate Mason and Amir Coffey added 16 and 12 points, respectively, for the Gophers (18-7, 6-6 Big Ten). Eric Curry made all five of his shots and scored 11 points.

Rutgers (13-13, 2-11) was led by C.J. Gettys, who had a team-high eight rebounds, and Mike Williams with 14 points each. Corey Sanders added 13 points, five assists and five rebounds.

The Scarlet Knights, who trailed by 12 early in the second half, cut the lead to five after Williams hit a 3-pointer to make it 66-61 with 4:02 to play.

Murphy fouled out at the 2:28 mark with Minnesota leading 68-61 and Rutgers again pulled within five, 68-63, on a Gettys tip-in with 1:44 remaining before the Gophers made four free throws in the final minute.

Penn State 83, (at) Illinois 70: Payton Banks tied his career-high with 24 points, Lamar Stevens added 21 for Penn State. Banks made three of Penn State’s seven 3-pointers and the Nittany Lions shot 56.9 percent overall. It was his fourth 20-plus game of the season and the sixth of his career.

Penn State (14-12, 6-7 Big Ten) didn’t allow Illinois to get into an offensive groove. The Fighting Illini had numerous three-minute scoring droughts and Penn State closed the first half on a 14-2 run for a 41-29 lead.

Illinois finished with 14 turnovers, including two in the first four possessions of the game.

Tony Carr made six straight free throws and scored 19 points for Penn State, which was 18-of-20 at the line.

Malcolm Hill led the way for Illinois (14-12, 4-9) with 14 points. Te’Jon Lucas had 11 points, on 2-of-8 shooting, and seven assists.