What an incredible job Chris Holtmann has done in his first year as the head coach at Ohio State. For a coach that was hired very late in the process and had very little time to recruit, he must be a Coach of the Year candidate. The Maryland Terrapins were in Value City Arena to take on the Buckeyes last night, and the Buckeyes kept their momentum rolling.
The Buckeyes (14-4, 5-0) ran away from Maryland (14-5, 3-3) in a 91-69 beat down. The Buckeyes were led by, guess who, Keita Bates-Diop with 26 points and 8 rebounds including 6-8 from three point range. Point guard C.J. Jackson put in 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists, while Jae’Sean Tate had 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists as well.
It wasn’t all superstars for Ohio State however, fifth-year senior and graduate transfer Andrew Dakich had a career high 11 points on 4-5 shooting in 27 minutes of play. Ohio State shot 56.1% from the field including 58.6% from three point range. They also hit 83.3% of their free throws, resulting in their second-most points scored in a game in almost a month.
Defensively, the Buckeyes were even better. Down 7 points early, the defense stepped up and Ohio State went on a 22-2 run. Maryland shot 36.7% from the field and turned the ball over 7 times in the game. The defense is what helps the Buckeyes feel out their opponents early, and run away from them as the game goes along.
Let’s take a look at the highlights from the Buckeye victory.
Maryland’s three top players were mostly held in check. Michal Cekofsky posted 18 points and 5 rebounds on the night. Star point guard Anthony Cowan was held to 12 points on 3-13 shooting and Kevin Huerter had 12 points on 4-10 shooting.
The win moves Ohio State into a tie for FIRST PLACE in the Big Ten with #5 Purdue at 5-0. The upcoming Big Ten schedule is fairly manageable for the Buckeyes, with two road games against Rutgers and Northwestern. They then have five consecutive home games against Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Indiana, and Illinois. The game after that is in West Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers.
Stay tuned to EBSN Online for coverage of the Buckeyes game against Rutgers this Sunday at 7:00pm on the Big Ten Network.