Andrew Dakich came off the bench and keyed Ohio State’s 91-69 win over Maryland Thursday at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The graduate transfer had a career-high 11 points, all in a key first-half surge, but Big Ten scoring leader Keita Bates-Diop led all scorers with 26 points.
The Buckeyes (14-4, 5-0) stayed tied atop the Big Ten Conference standings coming off their Sunday upset of No. 1 ranked Michigan State. Maryland (14-5, 3-3), which had won eight of nine games coming in, fell for the second time in the last three contests. Michal Cekovsky led the Terrapins with a career-high 18 points.
Ohio State trailed by seven midway through the first half when Cekovsky dunked at 10:18 to make it 20-13, but then the Buckeye defense took control, keying a 19-4 run that put the home team in charge. When Jae‘Sean Tate dunked at 7:22, the Buckeyes had scored nine straight points and taken the lead, 24-22, on their way to a 44-32 halftime advantage.
The Terrapins hit just four of their last 19 shots in the first half, while the Buckeyes surged in transition, hitting 56.7 percent (17-of-30). Dakich led the charge, scoring 11 points during what turned into a 29-10 OSU run to end the half. Dakich hit four of five shots, three from 3-point range. He also had four assists.
The Buckeyes led by as many as 28 points in the second half when Bates-Diop hit a 3-pointer at the 8:16 mark. Ohio State was 17-of-29 ( season-high 58.6 percent) from behind the arc, and got treys from eight different players. Bates-Diop was 6-of-8 from deep. C.J. Jackson finished with 14 points and Tate had 13 for Ohio State, which has won four straight under first-year coach Chris Holtmann.
Maryland was down to eight scholarship players with senior guard Dion Wiley missing the contest with a concussion. Forwards Justin Jackson (shoulder) and Ivan Bender (knee) are out for the season. Big Ten Freshman of the Week Bruno Fernando, who played with flu-like symptoms, had just two points and three rebounds.
Ohio State travels to Rutgers on Sun., Jan. 14, for the first of three games away from home. Maryland is at Michigan Monday, but returns home on Thursday, Jan. 18 to host Minnesota.
--Field Level Media