You don’t put up 100 points on a team in your first meeting and then visit their place and run them out of the gym again. It just doesn’t happen.
After being Ohio State soundly earlier this month in College Park, Maryland endured a second half rock fight to grind out a 66-61 victory over the Buckeyes on Sunday afternoon in Columbus.
Maryland was carried by its starting lineup, with four of those five players reaching double figures. Melo Trimble led the way with 20 points and Jake Layman posted a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Here are 5 things you need to know.
1) You knew they would come out with energy
Nothing sets a team straight like having 100 points dropped on them. Effort was an issue for Ohio State the last time these two teams met and it was far from it early in this game on Sunday.
The Buckeyes came out of the gate pushing the pace and hitting shots, especially from the perimeter. They jumped out to an 8-2 lead. But Maryland stayed calm and stayed poised. The Terrapins played inside-out, which is their bread and butter.
2) An emphasis on the interior
Mark Turgeon has made it a point to say that Maryland’s reliance on the jumpshot has hurt them of late. No such issue on Sunday. On the first possession, the Terrapins went inside to Robert Carter, Jr., who had a career-high 25 points the last time these two teams played.
Carter had eight points by halftime. Diamond Stone had the same total at the break. That success on the inside opened up opportunities on the perimeter, where Melo Trimble started to find a groove again with nine points in the first half.
When Maryland’s offense is clicking, there are few in the country better. With a starting five that talented, working the ball inside makes teams choose between letting a defender go one-on-one with a talented post player like Stone or Carter, or helping off and letting someone get a makeable shot outside. It’s tough.
3) Jake Layman, catalyst
An aggressive Jake Layman could be the X-factor for Maryland as we push closer to tournament games, both in the Big Ten and the NCAAs. It was on display in the first half on Sunday.
His athleticism, when paired with this kind of tenacity, make a difference on both ends of the floor. He was an active defender, hounding Ohio State on the perimeter and then hitting the glass to finish possessions.
He was strong coming off of screens and ferocious attacking the rim, including a big alley-oop slam off an assist from Rasheed Sulaimon. He had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half.
4) Different pace coming out of the half
Maryland was on pace to again flirt with 80 points after posting 37 points in the first half. It then took nearly four minutes to get a basket in the second half. Fortunately for Maryland, Ohio State was equally as cold.
But that’s a two-sided coin. While the cold Buckeye shooting allowed Maryland to endure its own struggles, they missed a major opportunity to put Ohio State away early in the half.
For a stretch of that half -- not saying that it was the reason for the drought, but it did not help to break it -- Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky had to be on the floor at the same time with Diamond Stone looking uncharacteristically inefficient.
Those two in the paint don’t allow for the same sort of inside-out action that made Maryland successful in the first half. Give credit to Dodd, though. He did have a nice pass off of a pick-and-roll and a jumper, but he cannot be a full first post option.
5) Ohio State comes back, but big shots late seal it
All of those scoring issues are bound to catch up with you eventually. It did by the 6:55 mark, when a Marc Loving three-point play put the Buckeyes on top by one point. That is when the back-and-forth rock fight began.
What opens things up in those types of situations? Three-point shots, which Maryland struggled with until late. But the Terrapins always have that card up their sleeve, no matter how cold they may go.
Rasheed Sulaimon chipped in first with 3:01 to go to extend Maryland’s lead to four, 57-53. Less than a minute later, Melo Trimble added another three to respond to a layup and make it a five-point game.
Then Maryland shifted into close-out mode, which they do so well. Maryland was 12-of-13 from the free throw line in the final 6:27 to get the victory.