The No. 4 Maryland Terrapins edged out the Ohio State women’s basketball team, 77-74, as a late comeback by the Buckeyes fell just short in the Big Ten Tournament final.
A win would have given OSU its first conference tournament win since 2011.
Down by as many as 15 in the second half, OSU kept the game close late behind 31 points from freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell.
Big play after big play by both teams allowed the game to go back and forth for the final 10 minutes.
Junior guard Cait Craft partnered with Mitchell to fuel the Buckeyes’ offense with red-hot shooting from behind the arc. OSU finished the game 7-of-18 from 3-point range, with Mitchell and Craft combining to go 7-of-14.
Despite the early deficit, with 18 seconds to go and Maryland up by one point, OSU was in a position to win the game.
A timeout by OSU coach Kevin McGuff set the Buckeyes up for success with the ability to design a final play to go for the tournament victory.
An aggressive double-team from the Terrapin defense forced Mitchell to travel as the clock ticked down and the Buckeyes championship dreams slipped away.
McGuff and company left the Big Ten Tournament with a loss for the second straight year after losing to Iowa in last season’s semifinal.
Maryland, in its first year as part of the Big Ten, successfully ran through the conference without a loss and picked up both regular-season and tournament titles.
OSU will have a week of practice ahead of it before the Buckeyes find out their fate for the NCAA Tournament. The selections are set to be announced March 16.