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Men’s Basketball: Ohio State escapes Maryland 79-75 in double-overtime thriller

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Both Ohio State and Maryland fighting for possession of a loose ball in a tight matchup Saturday at Value Center Arena at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes outlasted the Terrapins 79-75. Credit: Sebastian Petrou Griffith | Lantern Photographer

With the ball and down by 2 points in double overtime, Maryland had the chance to tie the game, but Ohio State senior forward Zed Key had other plans.

Key had a huge rejection towards Maryland fifth-year forward Donta Scott with seven seconds left in second overtime before the Buckeyes threw an outlet to sophomore guard Roddy Gayle Jr. for a windmill dunk as the exclamation to the clutch victory.

Gayle took his frustrations out on the rim in the final seconds of a double-overtime win as Ohio State (14-1, 4-9 Big Ten) defeated Maryland (13-10, 5-8 Big Ten) 79-75 Saturday afternoon at Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center, securing its first win since Jan. 20.

Gayle finished with 17 points in the contest.

“[The dunk] felt like everything,” Gayle said. “Buckeye nation was going wild, it’s been a while since we’ve heard that much energy in the building, so it was just amazing.”

The Terrapins throttled the Buckeyes defensively early on, jumping out to a 13-4 lead while forcing two turnovers and holding the Buckeyes to just one made field goal in the first five minutes of play.

Ohio State fought back against the Maryland attack, going on a 10-2 run to get back into the game, pushing the Terrapin lead to just one.

Scott started off the game on fire, scoring 10 points while staying perfect on the field in the first 12 minutes of play. Ohio State could not keep Maryland out of the paint in the first half, as the Terrapins bested the Buckeyes 18-8 in points inside through 15 minutes.

The Buckeyes locked in defensively just before halftime, going on a 7-0 run while holding Maryland without a field goal for nearly 5 minutes.

Thornton hit a huge driving layup with one second left before the break, giving Ohio State a 33-32 lead going into half — its first of the game.

“I think our defense settled into those last four minutes,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “We have not been great at times in the last four minutes of the first half, but they were terrific today.”

Maryland and Ohio State traded baskets early in the second period, a reverse layup by fifth-year Buckeye guard Dale Bonner set the game in a deadlock with 16 minutes left to play in the contest.

Key made an immediate impact in his first minutes of action, taking a big charge on Maryland junior forward Julian Reese.

Despite a rather quiet first half, Ohio State fifth-year guard Jamison Battle cut the Maryland lead to three with just over eight minutes to play in the affair.

Maryland fifth-year guard Jahmir Young had a huge night for the Terrapins finishing with 26 points and seven boards in the loss.

“He’s obviously a tremendous talent,” Holtmann said. “I think our post traps bothered him at the end of the first half and we were able to turn them over and make him shoot into crowds.”

Baskets from Battle and Thornton down the stretch of the second half kept the game close, although the Terrapins retained a 4-point lead with four minutes left in the contest.

Thornton hit a massive 3-pointer with just under a minute left in the game to tie the contest at 61.

Both teams had the chance to take a lead in the final seconds of the game but missed shot attempts by Ohio State’s Thornton and Maryland’s Young, which sent the game into overtime  while tied at 61.

Gayle scored an acrobatic layup to give the Buckeyes a 2-point lead a minute into the first overtime period. The Terrapins took a small lead late into the period thanks to five-straight made free throws by Young.

A Thornton layup with just over a minute remaining in the first overtime clash tied the game at 71.

Ohio State and Maryland both had chances to score the go-ahead basket, although rim-outs on shot attempts for each team sent the game into double overtime.

Young continued to will his way into the paint for Maryland, scoring a tough contested layup to put the Terrapins up by two halfway through the second overtime.

Thornton knifed his way into the lane for a layup after taking contact to put the Buckeyes up two and give them their first lead of double overtime. Gayle then capitalized in the final seconds to seal the deal.

“I think it was a great opportunity for us to show our toughness in the Big Ten,” Gayle said. “I felt like we defended the ball at an amazing level today and I hope that we can carry that over the rest of the year.”

Ohio State looks to make it two straight victories, when it takes on Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kohl Center. Peacock will broadcast.



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