With Ohio State being shorthanded for its game at Maryland, the Buckeyes' bench was outscored by the Terrapins' reserves, 33-0, in an 86-77 loss at College Park, Md. on Saturday afternoon.
Jaylen Brantley, who was averaging 5.0 points per game before the tilt vs. OSU, led Maryland (21-4, 9-3 Big Ten) bench players with 11 points in 20 minutes of action.
“We just try to help the starters when they get out of the game," Brantley said after the win. "Our coach always talks about how we need good bench production, so I feel like if we come out and be aggressive is when we win games. It also helps keep the bench well-rested."
JaQuan Lyle was tending a family emergency and therefore did not travel with OSU (15-11, 5-8) for its conference meeting with the 21st-ranked Terrapins. Down a man, the Buckeyes ran into foul trouble. Micah Potter, Jae'Sean Tate and Trevor Thompson all fouled out while C.J. Jackson ended the game with four fouls.
“We were undermanned and in foul trouble the whole game and it really made it challenging," said OSU head coach Thad Matta after the defeat. "As I told our guys, the things that Maryland would have to do to beat us, they did. They made some great plays."
Tate finished with 20 points, shooting 7 of 16 from the field across 34 minutes of action before being disqualified. Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes to record his 10th double-double of the season. And Potter grabbed three boards and missed his only shot in 14 minutes.
Marc Loving had a season-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting while playing the entire game for OSU.
Anthony Cowan led the Terps with 19 points, which included going 10 of 10 from the free-throw line.
OSU trailed by as many as 16 in the first half. The team started the contest 0 for 10 from the floor and Maryland held a 20-0 advantage in bench scoring through the first 20 minutes.
The Buckeyes trimmed the deficit to five on two different occasions late in the game, however. Loving hit a three with 2:43 left in the contest to make it a 77-72 game in favor of Maryland. Kevin Huerter responded with a deep straightaway triple as the shot clock was winding down to push Maryland's lead back out to eight.
Kam Williams then connected from long range with 1:43 remaining to make it five-point margin again at 80-75. Cowan's trey with 41 seconds left put the Terrapins ahead, 83-75, and curtailed the Buckeyes' valiant comeback attempt, though.
"I thought they were both going in when they shot it," said Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon of Huerter's and Cowan's threes. "Anthony had rhythm, he hit two threes earlier, he hit free throws. Kevin can shoot a jump shot from half court. That's not surprising for him to make that shot. But we needed it. It was good for him to hit that shot so we could breathe a little bit at the end of the game."
Considering that the Buckeyes did not have Lyle at their disposal, Matta was pleased with his club's effort.
"Honestly, no complaints, I thought with what we had today we did everything that we could," Matta said.
OSU stays on the road for a match-up at Michigan State (15-10, 7-5) on Tuesday night.
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