Ohio State Falls To Maryland In B1G Tournament Final
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HOFFMAN, ESTATES, Ill. - Ohio State dug out of a 15-point second half hole to No. 3 Maryland but the Terrapins were able to hold on for a 77-74 victory in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament Sunday evening.
Freshman Kelsey Mitchell led the Buckeye comeback as she finished with a game-high 31 points. Fellow freshman Alexa Hart notched her team-leading 11th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Both Mitchell and Hart were named to the B1G All-Tournament Team.
Junior Ameryst Alston was 7-of-10 from the free throw line and finished with 11 points and a team-high five assists.
The Buckeyes trailed 50-35 with 16:30 to play. A driving lay-in by Mitchell and a three-pointer from Cait Craft jump started the OSU comeback. The Bucks climbed all the way back to within one at 63-62 with 6:15 to play but Maryland pushed the advantage back out to six with 3:30 to play.
Mitchell's fourth three-pointer of the game knifed the lead to 73-71 and Maryland answered with two free throws. Following a Buckeye turnover, Craft got back on defense, forced a steal and then knocked-down a three-pointer from the corner with a minute left to make the margin 75-74.
OSU got a stop and had a chance for a last second shot down 75-74 but Mitchell was whistled for a traveling violation. Two Lexie Brown free throws made it 77-74 and Mitchell's last-second three-point attempt bounced off the rim.
Maryland's big advantage came on the glass as it out-rebounded the Buckeyes 49-28 and held at 22-5 edge on the offensive boards. The Terps were able to convert those 22 offensive rebounds into 22 second chance points.
Brown led the Terps with 19 points and she was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
The Buckeyes got off to a good start with a 7-2 lead but Maryland answered with an 8-0 run to take a 10-7 lead. The Terps would not trail the rest of the half. OSU tied the score a couple of times and was within one at 33-32 with three minutes left. Maryland then closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 42-34 edge at the break.
Maryland had 12 of its 22 offensive rebounds in the first half and converted them into 12 second chance points.
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