COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 20 points, and No. 12 Maryland used an unyielding defensive performance to defeat 11th-ranked 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.
Ohio State (11-4, 1-3) shot a miserable 31%, went 5 for 27 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers.
Maryland led 31-29 before Cowan made a free throw and a shot from well beyond the arc for a 41-31 advantage. The margin swelled to 12 points on a breakaway dunk by Aaron Wiggins with 8:49 remaining, and that sent the Terrapins on their way to a 10-0 record at home.
The clincher came on a follow-dunk by Wiggins for a 59-50 lead with 2:54 to go.
Both teams were ranked third in the nation at different times last month before going through a poor stretch. The Buckeyes came in with three losses in their last five games, including two straight. Maryland’s descent in the poll was a result of successive defeats on the road against Penn State and Seton Hall.
The Terrapins regrouped with three consecutive wins at home, including this one against an Ohio State team that has struggled to score during its current slide. The Buckeyes reached the 70-point mark in 11 straight games before getting 59 against West Virginia and 57 last week at home against Wisconsin.
Kaleb Wesson scored 15 for Ohio State, and Andre Wesson and D.J. Carton had 14 apiece. Luther Muhammad went 0 for 6 from the floor, Duane Washington Jr. finished 2 for 11, including 0 for 5 from 3-point range.
The Terrapins committed 11 turnovers in the first half and missed eight of nine attempts from within the arc but went 7 for 11 on 3-point tries to forge a 28-22 lead at the break.
Maryland struggled through the opening six minutes without a field goal and trailed 8-0 before Eric Alaya accounted for half the points in a 12-3 surge that gave the Terrapins their first lead.
The Buckeyes played without 6-foot-8 junior forward Kyle Young, who missed a second straight game since having his appendix removed. Young ranks fourth on the team with 8.3 points per game and second in rebounding with 6.8.
Ohio State: Since opening the season with nine straight wins, the Buckeyes have endured in a free fall in the AP poll. This didn’t help.
Maryland: The Terrapins just might work their way back into the Top 10 if they can sustain the momentum created by this victory.
Ohio State faces Indiana on the road Saturday. The Buckeyes have won four straight in the series, the last three by a combined nine points.
Maryland plays four of its next five games on the road, beginning Friday night at Iowa.