INDIANAPOLIS, In. – For the first time since the Maryland Terrapins joined the B1G Ten Conference in 2014, the women’s basketball team lost a tournament game as the Ohio State Buckeyes enacted revenge on an earlier 30-point loss to Maryland and won the 2018 B1G Ten Women’s Basketball Championship, 79-69.
Maryland (25-7 overall; 12-4 B1G Ten) trounced Ohio State (27-6 overall; 13-3 B1G Ten) 99-69 at College Park back on January 22nd.
Senior G Kelsey Mitchell had a game-high 25 points, including going 5 for 9 from beyond the three-point arc and both Senior F Stephanie Mavunga and Senior G Linnae Harper each had double-doubles for Ohio State (Mavunga scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds; 14 points and 11 rebounds for Harper). The Buckeyes also capitalized on 18 offensive rebounds.
Sophomore G Kaila Charles had 22 points for the Terrapins in the loss.
The first quarter saw a total of six lead changes and the biggest lead for either team would be five points. Maryland was solid from the floor, hitting on 10 out of their 17 shots (58.8%), while the Terrapins defensive held Ohio State to 6 for 21 shooting (28.6%), but Ohio State stayed close but securing seven offensive rebounds and only trailed 22-17 at the end of the first 10 minutes.
Ohio State basically won the game squarely in the second quarter. Turning their shooting woes around by going 12 for 19 (63.2%), the Buckeyes outscored the Terrapins 27-9. Maryland had a miserable quarter shooting, going 4 for 17 (23.5%) and they were also out-rebounded 14-6 as Ohio State took a 47-31 halftime lead.
In the third quarter when Kelsey Mitchell hit a three-pointer with 6:23 remaining on the clock, Ohio State enjoyed it’s biggest lead of the game, 53-35. Maryland didn’t let that get that down as they would end the quarter on a 14-4 run to shave the lead down to eight points, 57-49 going into the final quarter.
Maryland played the first four minutes of the fourth quarter like the team that had dominated the B1G Ten Tournament the past three years. Using a stiffing defense and finally connecting from long range, the Terrapins used a 10-4 run in the first 4:02 and pulled to within two points of Ohio State, 61-59 and causing the Buckeyes to call a time out.
Mitchell deflated the Maryland hopeful right out of the time-out as she drained a three-pointer to push the lead back up to five. The Terrapins would not get close again as they started missing shots and was forced to start fouling the Buckeyes. Ohio State helped itself by going 8 for 10 from the charity stripe in the last two minutes of the game to capture their first B1G Ten Tournament title since 2010.
The loss will most likely cost Maryland the opportunity to be a top four seed in any of the regional brackets when they are announced on Monday, March 12th. Which means it will end a seven-year streak of Maryland hosting first and second round games at the Xfinity Center in College Park.