College Park, MD — College Park was all red on Monday night with the Ohio State Buckeyes in town, in what was predicted to be a close matchup between the Big Ten’s top two teams. No. 14 Maryland and No. 12 Ohio State entered this game both with 5-1 records in conference and a tied series against one another.
However, the Terrapins had no plans of keeping this a tight game, as the Terps (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten), stomped all over the Buckeyes (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) 99-69 to assert themselves as the best team in the Big Ten.
The Terps came out with complete dominance, setting the tone from the start. Maryland junior Eleanna Christinaki brought the arena to their feet early on, going 3-for-3 from behind the arc in just the first quarter. She finished the game with 26 points, just six points shy of her career high.
“I just have great teammates, that set me up for those opportunities,” Christinaki humbly said as she described her success in scoring so early on in the game. “I was able to perform that well tonight because I had their support around me.”
Kaila Charles also came up big in the scoring department for Maryland, putting up 32 points for her career best.
“We’ve been focusing on doing the little things right, and tonight, that was on full display. This was certainly our team’s most complete performance by far this season,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese noted following the Terps victory.
One key factor that both teams were aware of coming into this game was the lopsided matchup of a veteran Ohio State team and a young Maryland starting squad. The Buckeyes typically start two seniors, two redshirt seniors, and a redshirt junior, giving them plenty of Big Ten experience out on the court.
On the other end, Maryland starters include three underclassmen joined by a junior and senior, whose grit and determination proved victorious over the veteran experience of Ohio State tonight.
Prior to tip-off, Maryland Coach Brenda Frese laid out three very simple messages for her team in the locker room which served as a catalyst for her team to get going.
First, she wanted dominance on the boards, and they went above and beyond, out-rebounding Ohio State State 47-33. Second, she wanted the edge on free throw scoring, and her team delivered with that as well, putting up 10 points from the line compared to the Buckeyes’ five.
And finally, she wanted complete mental positivity from her squad, and boy, did she get that. Her Terps controlled the game from the tip-off, holding on to the lead for the entire 40 minutes.
Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff was blunt and unapologetic in his assessment of his team's performance.
"We were outscored, out coached, out played, out-everything tonight,” McGuff said following the game. “We are going to get slapped in the face this season if we keep playing like this.”
Despite a disappointing team performance on the Ohio State’s side, Kelsey Mitchell did see an incredible individual accomplishment, breaking the NCAA record for career three-pointers, scoring her 442nd jumper from the arc during the first half of Monday's game.
Both teams play again on Thursday night, with Maryland traveling to play Northwestern and the Buckeyes taking on Iowa on the road.
Posted by Swish Appeal Staff on Monday, January 22, 2018