Instant reactions: Ohio State 73, #21 Maryland 62

Maryland basketball couldn’t find its groove as the Terps held the lead for less than a minute on Wednesday night, falling 73-62 in Columbus.. Maryland now falls to 20-10 (11-8) following the loss and with one regular season game left, there are still major questions to answer with the postseason right around the corner. Breaking down our instant reactions from the loss:

Slow starts in both halves plague Maryland…Maryland’s start was far from ideal. After jumping out to a quick 4-2 lead, the Buckeyes went on a 12-0 run to take control and never looked back. Maryland was able to cut the deficit to five three separate times, but again, but the Buckeyes were able to punch back and then some. It wasn’t for a lack of offense—Maryland shot over 55% from the field through the first 20 minutes—but the defense couldn’t slow down the Buckeyes. Sean McNiel knocked down a pair of threes to keep Maryland away, while Isaac Kikekele finished a perfect 4-for-4 through the first 20. Maryland would turn to Donta Scott and Julian Reese inside to get them going as they combined for 15 of the 29 points, while Jahmir Young battled the Buckeyes’ size inside for a pair of buckets at the rim. The second half didn’t fare much better, either. After Julian Reese connected on a pair of free throws for Maryland’s first points, the Buckeyes outscored the Terps 9-2 over the next three minutes. It turned out that Reese’s free throws, which cut the lead to six, would be the closest Maryland got the rest of the night. Every 50-50 play, loose ball or call was to be made, the Buckeyes seemingly prevailed as they routinely countered Maryland’s punches. Ohio State stretched the lead to as many as 15 in the second half.

Bounce back…If there’s one positive to come out of Wednesday night’s loss, it was Don Carey after finishing second on the team with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting. The three-point touch was back and Carey and the veteran gave Maryland late hope after drawing a foul after drilling a three, eventually cutting the deficit to 67-60 with 94 seconds left. Still, the Buckeyes closed the game out from the free throw line and the Terps’ go back to the drawing board. Which brings us to…

Road Woes…much has been made about Maryland’s tenacity and dominance at home. A 16-1 overall record and undefeated streak in conference play is credit to Kevin Willard in year one, but with the loss, Maryland now falls to 2-8 on the road. Factor in Maryland’s 2-1 record on neutral courts, and the 4-9 overall mark sparks concern with a postseason run sitting in the back of every Maryland fan’s mind. Don Carey spoke about Maryland needing to become ‘road warriors’ last month, but the success has yet to come to fruition. Instead, Maryland falls to 3-9 in Quad 1 games with one more chance to right the ship when they travel to Penn State on Sunday. The loss also eliminates Maryland’s chances of winning a share of the Big Ten regular season title and could fall to third contingent on Northwestern beating Penn State.

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