Ohio State falls to No. 8 Maryland 67-55

After facing top-ranked Connecticut and No. 8 Maryland in

succession, Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff has a good idea what it’s

going to take for his team to be a perennial winner.

”Well, first of all, I think we need to change our scheduling

philosophy,” McGuff said with a laugh after the Buckeyes fell to

the Terrapins 67-55 Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten

Challenge.

Ameryst Alston scored 18, and Cait Craft and Matina Ellerbe had

11 apiece for Ohio State, which lost to UConn by 21. The Buckeyes

were outrebounded by Maryland 53-35, yielding 23 offensive

rebounds, and gave up 34 points in the paint.

”Maryland is a terrific team. They’re talented and well coached

and they play hard,” McGuff said. ”The difference was they got

too many points in transition and too many points on offensive

rebounds. We have to get better in those areas to have a chance to

win a game like this on the road.”

The Buckeyes never led, but they certainly made it interesting.

After Maryland (8-1) opened up a 12-point lead with 8:29 remaining,

Alston made two foul shots and a 3-pointer to spark an 11-2 run

that got Ohio State in position to pull off an upset.

The Terrapins, however, scored 11 of the game’s final 13 points

to doom the Buckeyes to their third loss in four games.

”I’m proud of how we played. I thought we dominated the glass

and were able to show our depth kind of late in the game,”

Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ”I’m proud of how we kept our

poise down the stretch.”

Maryland’s reserves outscored Ohio State’s bench 23-8.

McGuff is in his first season at Ohio State, but is well into an

intensive rebuilding process designed to make the Buckeyes

competitive with the nation’s finest teams.

”As we aspire to be like the Connecticuts and Marylands of the

world, it’s a combination of what we’re doing with our culture and

our style of play and our identity, and then also adding the right

kids to the program,” McGuff said. ”I think we’ve taken some

really positive steps in the last six months to have a program that

competes with the best of the best.

”We’re coming, and hopefully we’re going to be there sooner

than later.”

Alyssa Thomas had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Terrapins,

who made their first four shots in the second half as part of an

11-2 run that made it 40-28. Thomas scored six points in the spree

and Brene Moseley sank Maryland’s first 3-pointer of the game.

Ohio State closed to 56-53 with 2:58 left, but a 3-pointer by

Lexie Brown, a layup by Moseley and two free throws by Thomas ended

the suspense.

Maryland finished 7-0 as an ACC representative in the ACC/Big

Ten Challenge. The Terrapins move to the Big Ten next year.

Ohio State fell to 2-5 in the event, including 0-2 against the

Terps.

The Terrapins built a 29-26 halftime lead despite missing 22 of

31 shots from the floor and committing eight turnovers.

Thomas had nine points, six rebounds and half of Maryland’s four

assists. But the Terps couldn’t shake the pesky Buckeyes, who

trailed 12-6 early before getting within a point on three different

occasions.