By Danielle Daniels
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wins have been hard to come by for Ohio State recently and Saturday’s win over Maryland was no different. The Buckeyes outlasted the Terrapins 79-75 in double-overtime to snap a five-game losing streak.
The win lifts the Buckeyes to 14-10 overall and 4-9 in Big Ten play. Maryland is now 13-11 and 5-8 in conference action.
Sophomore Bruce Thornton led the Buckeyes in scoring with 24 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He also added team-highs of seven rebounds and four assists. Fellow sophomore Roddy Gayle Jr. finished with 17 points while going a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line. His defense down the stretch on Jahmir Young
Four other Buckeyes scored either seven or eight points, led by Jamison Battle with eight points.
Maryland threw the first punch of the game, but the Buckeyes were able to answer as Dale Bonner ignited a 7-0 run with a steal and score and the Buckeyes trailed just 15-14 at the midpoint of the half.
The Terrapins built as much as a 10-point lead in the first half, but Thornton and Mahaffey took advantage of a Terrapins drought with a 13-2 run. Maryland went scoreless for the last 5:36 of the half, and the Buckeyes took a 33-32 lead at the break.
Senior Zed Key gave the Buckeyes a spark at the start of the second half as his scoring inside gave the Buckeyes a 40-39 lead with just over 12 minutes to play. Maryland would extend the lead to as much as six in the second half, but sophomore Felix Okpara’s alley-oop dunk would ignite the Buckeyes.
Thornton knocked down a game-tying three with just under a minute to play in regulation to force overtime tied at 61-61. The Terrapins ended regulation on a three-minute scoring drought.
Both teams traded buckets in the overtime period and both sides had shots to win the game at the end of the first extra period. But neither shot dropped and the game headed to a second OT at 71-71.
An early Maryland turnover would lead to Thornton scoring on a drive to give the Buckeyes a two-point edge. Key then had a huge block on Maryland’s layup attempt in the waning moments to help seal the win. Gayle Jr.’s windmill dunk on the run-out capped the win and let out three weeks of frustration.
Ohio State hits the road and will take on No. 11 Wisconsin on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in Madison. Tip-time is set for 9 p.m. ET.
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