Maryland avoided dropping its first two Big Ten games with a wild victory last time out and gets back to its non-conference schedule Thursday night when Ohio of the Mid-American Conference pays a visit. The Terrapins blew a 19-point halftime lead before outlasting Illinois 92-91 in overtime on Sunday, while shooting almost 60 percent from the field, after losses in three of their previous four contests.
Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan, who scored a career-high 27 in the victory at Illinois, told reporters “this is a group that never quits,” after Maryland recorded 17 points in the extra session to rebound from dropping its Big Ten opener to Purdue. The Terrapins lost to St. Bonaventure by one, Syracuse by two and fell 80-75 at home against Purdue while shooting just 34.9 percent from the floor last Friday. “We’re still a young team. We played two freshmen and three sophomores almost the whole game,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon told reporters after surviving the Illinois contest. “So, we’re still growing.” Ohio, which beat the Terrapins 61-55 in their last meeting in 2007, rolled over Coppin State 80-37 on Friday and has been tested in the early going with losses against Dayton (79-65), Iona (93-88) and Clemson (81-76).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT OHIO (4-3): The Bobcats are averaging 80.3 points and boast four players that score at least 12 per game while 6-9 junior Doug Taylor averages 6.3, but leads the team in rebounding (9.6) with at least 10 in four straight contests. Senior guard Mike Laster tops the team at 16.1 points per game, averaging 21.5 over the last four, and junior guard Jordan Dartis (14.7) has drained 21-of-51 from behind the arc. Freshman guard Teyvion Kirk contributes 14.4 points along with 3.7 assists and junior guard Gavin Block scores 12.1 per outing.
ABOUT MARYLAND (7-3): The Terrapins are second in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (plus-10.9), but sit last in the league in turnover margin (minus-5.1) after coughing up the ball 17 times per game. “You can’t win when you have a lot of turnovers, so that’s something we’re really working on as a team,” sophomore forward Justin Jackson told reporters. “We’re still getting used to each other. Chemistry is still growing every game.” Cowan tops the team at 16.5 points per contest while sophomore backcourt mate Kevin Huerter adds 13.4 (19.7 in the last three).
1. Jackson had a season-high 20 points Sunday and averages 9.8 to go along with a team-best 8.4 rebounds.
2. Laster averaged just 5.2 points as a junior last season but shot 53 percent from the field, and is at 49.0 in 2017-18.
3. Maryland’s 6-10 freshman F Bruno Fernando averages 10.8 points and shoots 63.1 percent from the field.
PREDICTION: Maryland 76, Ohio 62