NCAA Basketball

No. 16 Ohio State seeks another level, faces upset-minded Maryland

Maryland will look to snap its two-game losing streak at No. 16 Ohio State on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

"I'm excited. We've been playing well on the road," Terrapins guard Eric Ayala said. "I'm looking forward to going out there and competing at a high level."

In fact, the Terrapins (11-11, 3-8 Big Ten) have a better road record in conference play than they do at home. A 65-63 loss to No. 13 Michigan State at College Park, Md., on Tuesday dropped them to 1-5 at home against Big Ten foes.

Maryland is 2-3 in Big Ten road games but the Buckeyes (13-5, 6-3) are 9-0 at home this season, including 3-0 in the conference. They're eager to return to the court after their game against visiting Iowa on Thursday was postponed because of inclement weather. No makeup date has been determined.

The Buckeyes face a daunting task as they try to play their full 20-game Big Ten schedule by the scheduled end of the regular season on March 6 because they must also reschedule their Jan. 22 game against Nebraska, which was postponed because of COVID-19.

By not playing Iowa, the Buckeyes have had more time to digest the 81-78 loss at No. 4 Purdue last Sunday. Ohio State was down 20 points with 14:35 to play but tied the score at 78 in the final minute before a 3-pointer by Jaden Ivey with 0.6 seconds left ended a three-game winning streak.

Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said he needs more from his best player, E.J. Liddell, who had 20 points and three rebounds against the Boilermakers but wasn't impactful as the Buckeyes fell behind.

"I want him to be even a little more aggressive throughout the guts of the game," Holtmann said. "There were a couple key plays where we didn't get to the glass like we needed to on defense and that's what will stick with me."

Holtmann also wants forward Kyle Young and other veterans to step up.

"Kyle needed to play with more force and confidence in terms of the player he is," Holtmann said. "Certainly, some guys need to play better. We need to help them as coaches play better."

Maryland wants to avoid the stretches going into halftime that have plagued it the past two games. Last Saturday, Indiana scored 10 straight points to lead 33-26 after 20 minutes en route to a 68-55 win.

The Terrapins were tied 25-25 against Michigan State with five minutes remaining in the first half but trailed the Spartans by 10 at the break.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 4, 2022

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