COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Welcome to the Big Ten, Terps. LaQuinton Ross scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half, hitting his first four 3-pointers, to send No. 5 Ohio State to an early lead and a 76-60 victory over Maryland on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It was Maryland’s last appearance in the annual conference matchup – well, at least as an Atlantic Coast Conference team. Next year, the Terrapins join the Buckeyes in the new 14-team Big Ten. ”We didn’t talk about it being our last one,” coach Mark Turgeon said. ”We just talked about Ohio State and obviously we didn’t do a good job playing against them. So give them credit.” Sam Thompson added 14 points, including four rim-rattling dunks off alley-oop passes, and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 12. Aaron Craft created havoc on defense and chipped in with 10 points as the Buckeyes (7-0) controlled the game at both ends. ”Basketball is basketball,” said ex-Xavier guard Dez Wells, who led Maryland with 19 points. ”I don’t care what conference you’re in. That doesn’t matter to me.” Ohio State blitzed the Terrapins (5-3) on defense – scoring 25 points off 14 turnovers. The Buckeyes also shot 60 percent on 3-pointers in the opening half and 52 percent from the field for the game. The lead never dropped below double digits over the last 24 minutes, and the Buckeyes eased up after going up by 25 points in the second half. Ohio State had struggled shooting in its first four games. But the Buckeyes lit it up for 69 percent from the field – the sixth-best mark in school history – during a 99-64 rout of North Florida on Saturday. ”We shot the ball well last game and we wanted to build off it,” said Craft, who finished with five steals and six assists. ”We just wanted to come out and not have a slow start, come out with our minds right. We were able to do that. Obviously, LaQuinton helped out a lot coming in and knocking down those early shots. And that kind of relaxes everybody else and gets them going.” The Buckeyes led 43-26 at halftime and never really let the game leave their grasp…
- Here are the players who could win Ohio State’s next national award
- NFL draft profile: Does Ohio State’s Cam Johnston have a future in the pros?
- Noah in the 2017 NFL Draft: When should the Ohio State wide receiver be picked?
- Noah Brown in the 2017 NFL Draft: When should the Ohio State wide receiver be picked?
- Ohio State Defensive Line Looking for More Quarterback Sacks in 2017