Things got ugly in the second half of the Terrapins men's basketball team's 76-60 loss to Ohio State at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Forward Jake Layman picked up a technical foul after the nth alley-oop dunk by forward Sam Thompson. The Buckeyes bumped their lead to 70-45, sewing up a win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Despite the wide margin, there's no reason to for the Terps or their fans to panic. Ohio State is ranked No. 5 in the country. The Buckeyes made it to the Elite Eight back in March. They're a really, really good team. The Terps, though, aren't this bad. I'm not sure you could classify them as "good," but you can't dismiss them as "bad," either. They're average, and this is what you get from a young, average team on the road against a top opponents.
Now, here are some things that stood out.
1) CRAFTY AT THE POINT
Sure, ESPN analyst Bob Knight extolling the talents of Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft can be grating and a little over the top (it probably is to some extent), but the senior showed why he is routinely showered with praise by the national media. Though his stat line wasn't eye-popping, he made all the plays everyone says he makes all the time.
The one that stood out the most came at the end of the first half. While trying to milk the clock for the last shot, guard Dez Wells errantly dribbled behind his back. Craft dove in, and the two fell to the ground going for the ball. Somehow, Craft came up with it and tossed it to Thompson, who laid it in to cap the first 20 minutes.
2) HOT ROSS
Entering Tuesday night's matchup, the Buckeyes had four players averaging around 11 points. No one had emerged as a go-to scorer for Ohio State, but coach Mark Turgeon said nearly any of Ohio State's players could erupt.
And on Tuesday, it was forward LaQuinton Ross, who scored a game-high 20 points.
Ross did most of his damage in the first half. He scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. In the second half, he was quieter, but the damage had been done, and the Terps trailed by as many as 25 down the stretch.
The Buckeyes had three other players in double figures, as Thompson scored 14 points, Lenzell Smith scored 12 and Craft finished with 10.
3) DIALING DEEP
In their 89-62 win over Morgan State a few days ago, the Terps turned in their best three-point shooting performance of the season, going 13-of-20 from deep. Forward Jake Layman led the way with a 7-of-10 shooting night and 27 points, and forward Evan Smotrycz was 4-of-6.
In Columbus, that momentum swung the other way. The Terps shot 11.1 percent — 2-of-18 — from three-point range. Layman was 0-of-5 from deep and just 1-of-9 from the field. Guard Nick Faust was the only other Terp to hit from beyond the arc, and he was 1-of-7.
The Buckeyes, though, shot 44.4 percent, hitting on 8-of-18. Ross' 4-of-6 night led the way, while three other Ohio State players hit one of his own.
When the Terps offense is clicking, the outside shooting opens up the lane for players to slash to the hoop. But with most shots clanking off the rim, Ohio State could stuff the lane. There Terps had some success — Smotrycz scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, Wells had 17 on 8-of-17 and forward Charles Mitchell had 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting — but ut was too little, too late. The Buckeyes' lead was simply too big to overcome.