Fatts Russell tied his career high of 27 points. Eric Ayala scored 23, and Maryland defeated No. 22 Ohio State 75-60 Sunday
Six of their eight previous losses had been suffered by the Terrapins (14-15 and 6-12 Big Ten). They defeated the Buckeyes (18-8 and 11-6) to keep them at 36.2%.
Donta Scott scored 14 points, nine rebounds, and three steals in Maryland’s win.
E.J. Liddell was held to 11 points by Ohio State’s E.J. Malaki Branham, a freshman star who had averaged 26.7 in his three previous games, was held to just 13 points to lead the Buckeyes.
Ohio State forward Kyle Young stated that “we weren’t as prepared or ready as we should have been.”
Maryland took the lead at 8:07 in the first period after Ayala made two free throws. These were the first of 11 consecutive points. At halftime, the Terrapins held a 32-28 lead.
Maryland led by 53-50 after Branham scored a 3-pointer at 8:08 of the game. Ayala then followed up with a layup, and after colliding with Ohio State’s ZedKey, Ayala made two free throws to increase Maryland’s lead to 57-50. Key was injured in his right ankle and had the need to be lifted off the floor.
Russell and Ayala both made 3-pointers as the Terps led 64 to 53 with 4:07 left. With 1:18 left, Maryland led 75-57 with Russell hitting two 3-pointers.
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State coach, said that it was difficult to win in this league. “We didn’t have enough.”
Pavlo Dziuba, a Maryland forward, was born in Kyiv (Ukraine) and he wore the Ukrainian flag during the pre-game meeting. In sympathy, Dzuiba’s team wore blue wristbands.
Danny Manning, Maryland interim coach, said that Manning knows of family members, friends and people he cares about. “It’s to let him know, support him, love him, and to send thoughts and prayers his way.”
Young is aware that Ohio State will not be helped by the loss as it prepares to play in the postseason.
He said, “We had a good chance of winning the Big Ten championship. But we lost a game on road.” “It hurts.”
The 2002 Maryland national champion team was introduced in the second half. Before the game, Gary Williams, the Terrapins’ former coach, and his players spoke with the current team.
Russell stated, “You felt their presence.” “Coach Williams spoke a few words, and he gave us inspiration. Everyone listens when he speaks. He is a legend coach. We went out and tried to not disappoint them.”
STATUS OF THE GAME
Russell scored over 2,000 points early in the game with his 3-pointer. He’s now finished with his career at Maryland after four years at Penn State.
Russell stated, “I’ve been through many things.”
Ohio State: Following Thursday’s narrow win at No. 15 Illinois needed this game in order to increase their Big Ten seedings and NCAA Tournament seeds. They need to perform better in the final three games.
Maryland: This was their most impressive win in a disappointing season. The 20th anniversary of 2002 NCAA championship team is inspiring the Terrapins to a good run in the Big Ten tournament.
Ohio State: Ohio State finishes its regular season on Tuesday with three home games: Michigan State on Thursday, Nebraska on Tuesday and Michigan State on Sunday.
Maryland: Minnesota will host Maryland on Wednesday, and Michigan State will finish the regular season on Sunday.