COLLEGE PARK, MD – One of these days, Maryland will run the fast break to perfection, show a precise shooting eye from the outside and score a whole bunch of points.
Until that time, the Terrapins will continue to rely upon their defense to win. And that's just fine with coach Mark Turgeon, who has no problem waiting for Maryland to perform efficiently on both ends of the court.
Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 20 points, and the 12th-ranked Terrapins used an unyielding defensive performance to defeat No. 11 Ohio State 67-55 Tuesday night and remain unbeaten at home.
Jalen Smith had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Terrapins (13-2, 3-1 Big Ten), who have won three straight. Maryland went up by 10 on a 3-pointer by Cowan with 12:58 left and cruised to the finish.
“We won because our defense was outstanding," Turgeon said. “I'm encouraged because I don't think we're playing great yet. But we beat a really, really good team that I think can win a national championship if things go the right way for them in March."
On this night, Ohio State (11-4, 1-3) looked nothing like a contender. The Buckeyes shot a miserable 31%, went 5 for 27 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers.
“Their length provides, obviously, a lot of problems. And it's not just the length inside," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “Mark does a really good job, good discipline, they don't foul. I've always felt like Mark's teams are really smart in how they defend you."
The Terps didn't score a point in the opening six minutes and had only 28 points at halftime, but it didn't matter because their defense was so darn good.