Maryland vs Ohio State

Ross' hot start helps No. 5 Ohio State handle Maryland wire reports

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- LaQuinton Ross scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half, hitting his first four 3-pointers, to lead No. 5 Ohio State to an early lead and a 76-60 victory against Maryland on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Sam Thompson added 14 points, including four rim-rattling dunks, and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 12. Aaron Craft created havoc on defense and chipped in with 10 points as the Buckeyes (7-0) controlled the game at both ends.

Ex-Xavier guard Dez Wells had 19 points, former Michigan swingman Evan Smotrycz scored 15 and Charles Mitchell added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland (5-3), which had won four in a row after losing two of its first three.

This is Maryland's last ACC/Big Ten Challenge -- well, at least as an ACC team. Next year, the Terrapins join the Buckeyes in the new 14-team Big Ten.

Down by 17 at halftime, Maryland stayed within shouting range of the Buckeyes for part of the second half before Ohio State pulled away behind a 9-0 burst that pushed the lead to 70-45 with just over 6 minutes left.

The Terrapins have lost their past 13 road games against ranked opponents, while Ohio State has won its past 73 home games against unranked teams.

Both teams were coming off their best offensive games of the season. Maryland shot 62 percent from the field and had a season-best 26 assists, including six from freshman Roddy Peters, in an 89-62 win over Morgan State on Friday. The Buckeyes shot 69 percent -- sixth-best in school history -- in a 99-64 win over North Florida on Saturday.

Continuing that strong shooting, the Buckeyes made 60 percent of their shots from the field in the opening half Wednesday while building a 43-26 lead.

When they needed a bucket, they got it. When the Terrapins strung together a couple of baskets, the Buckeyes responded defensively and slammed the door.

Ross was the difference early, making those first four shots from behind the arc. After Maryland became more aware of him on the perimeter, Thompson scored on two high-flying, alley-oop dunks that shook the arena.

Behind Ross' 12 points, the Buckeyes broke out to an 18-9 lead.

The Terrapins regrouped to trade baskets and pull to 27-20 before Thompson had five points and Ross the other three in an 8-0 run.

Hanging onto a 35-26 lead heading into the final 90 seconds of the half, Ohio State ran off eight more points in a row.

Craft, who had three steals and three assists in the opening 20 minutes, stole the ball in a scrum and passed out of it while on the floor in the final seconds. Thompson got the ball, spun in the lane on a breakaway and then banked in a layup just as the buzzer sounded.

The Buckeyes improved to 7-6 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. They had won four in a row until blowing a big first-half lead to lose at No. 2 Duke 73-68 a year ago.

It was the first meeting between the teams since 1985. Ohio State is 4-2 in the series, winning four of the last five.

Maryland came in with 10 wins in the Challenge, including winning four of five on the road. The Terrapins won at Northwestern a year ago.

The crowd booed loud and long early in the second half when during a "celebrity look-a-likes" fan-cam segment, an Ohio State booster was shown who looked a lot like the football coach at archrival Michigan, Brady Hoke.

The Buckeyes football team plays Michigan State for the Big Ten title on Saturday.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Buckeyes senior Lenzelle Smith Jr. contributes 12 points and six rebounds to Ohio State's latest victory.  (USATSI)
Buckeyes senior Lenzelle Smith Jr. contributes 12 points and six rebounds to Ohio State's latest victory. (USATSI)
Maryland (5-3)263460
Ohio State #5 (7-0) «433376
MD:D. Wells 19 Pts
MD:C. Mitchell 11 Reb
MD:R. Peters 4 Ast
OHIOST:L. Ross 20 Pts
OHIOST:L. Smith Jr. 6 Reb
OHIOST:A. Craft 6 Ast

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MarylandOhio State
Dez Wells
LaQuinton Ross
Maryland Terrapins
J. Layman, G-F321-90-07122
D. Wells, G-F318-173-331119
E. Smotrycz, F296-122-270315
N. Faust, G242-90-02035
S. Cleare, C161-20-00042
C. Mitchell, F215-82-4110212
R. Peters, G181-21-21423
V. Ram, G170-20-03030
D. Dodd, F80-20-25020
J. Graham, F41-10-01012
J. Auslander, FDid Not Play
S. Barks, FDid Not Play
J. Susskind, GDid Not Play
S. Allen, GDid Not Play
C. Lipinski, GDid Not Play
A. Metz, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-648-134062360
Ohio State Buckeyes
A. Craft, G383-54-426310
L. Ross, F307-132-460020
S. Scott, G281-61-13523
A. Williams, C281-23-51015
L. Smith Jr., G234-63-460212
S. Thompson, F236-91-330114
T. McDonald, C121-11-43043
A. Della Valle, G91-30-01003
M. Loving, F91-33-42026
A. Goldstein, GDid Not Play
J. Lorbach, FDid Not Play
K. Williams, GDid Not Play
Totals 25-4818-2927111576
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Michigan St.10-820-1550
Ohio St.7-1117-1590
Penn St.6-1215-18101
Other games
DELST 46 Final
UMKC 62 Final
LOU 90
WISC 48 Final
UVA 38
PENN 54 Final
UNC 79 Final