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Feb 9, 2024 4:40 pm

Maryland faces Ohio State in search of ‘urgency’

Jahmir Young

Maryland hopes a trend continues with a road matchup against Ohio State on Saturday at Columbus, Ohio.

Since Jan. 2, the Terrapins (13-10, 5-7 Big Ten) have two losses, followed by two wins, two losses, two wins and the current two-game losing streak, the most recent defeat being 56-53 at home to Rutgers on Tuesday. Back-to-back wins will help the cause.

“It was a lack of urgency all around, on the bench and from the starters,” Maryland guard Jahmir Young said. “That’s unacceptable with where we’re at in the season and what we have to do.”

At least Maryland has delivered some success recently. The Buckeyes (13-10, 3-9) are staggering toward a second straight season without a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State has lost five in a row and eight of nine, not unlike last season at this time when they endured a nine-game losing streak and losses in 14 of 15 games en route to a 16-19 overall record.

“We’ve got great kids,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I don’t ever question that, but we need to see some results here. I think it’s frustrating for everybody. It’s obviously been a really hard stretch for all of our players and our coaches. We’ve got to find a way out of it.”

The Buckeyes’ inability to close out games has been eye-opening. A 76-73 home loss to Indiana on Tuesday marked the second time this season Ohio State has lost after holding an 18-point lead in the second half. They were defeated 83-80 at Penn State on Dec. 9.

“Absolutely I felt frustration because in practice that’s not who we are,” Ohio State guard Roddy Gayle Jr. said after the Indiana game. “We don’t get punked by the other team. That’s not the guys we have on our roster.”

Maryland has their own problems in tight games as well with a 1-6 record in one-possession games.

“It’s almost like we get a little tight on the offensive end, and then we kind of force things a little bit,” Maryland coach Kevin Willard said.

— Field Level Media

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