The Basketball Buckeyes won while No. 7 Maryland whined. Ohio State, thanks to a season high 22 points from Luther Muhammed and 15 points and 9 rebounds from Kaleb Wesson, beat the conference leading Terrapins 79-72. After the game, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon raised some eyebrows with his characterization of Wesson's performance.
"He was allowed to be the bully offensively today," Turgeon said of Wesson's performance. "He stuck a forearm right in (Maryland big man Jalen Smith's) chest twice. I guess you're allowed to do that in this building. He was allowed to be the bully and if he's allowed to be the bully, he's a heck of a player."
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann, who has seen Wesson pick up questionable touch fouls far too often during his career, was not a fan of Turgeon's assessment.
"(Wesson) was described as being a bully? Mark said that? To each his own. His opinion can be his opinion, but I thought Kaleb was physical and was well within the rules and played hard and played tough," Holtmann said. "Listen, that kid has gotten pushed and shoved and the number of times people have flopped on him throughout this year...he played well within rules, as he should have today."
Turgeon also expressed displeasure with how his star guard, Anthony Cowan, was officiated. Cowen did not score a field goal until there was 3:54 left in the game when he drove for a layup, made contact with Wesson and fell to the ground. Frustrated that no foul was called Cowen kicked his leg and nearly hit Wesson in the head. He was charged with a flagrant foul, which was his fifth personal foul, disqualifying him for the rest of the game.
"Anthony went in a shot a lay-up and somehow he ended up on the ground. I don't think he ended up there by himself, so no call. We're a little frustrated. I know the (TV) angle they showed looks like Anthony's trying to kick Kaleb...He's not trying to kick Kaleb. He's looking right at the referee and saying 'call the foul' and he's frustrated," Turgeon said. "We can take that all out of the way that he was trying to kick a player because he wasn't. He was frustrated that he got tackled on a layup and there wasn't a call."
The replay of the controversial play is below. While Wesson does make contact with Cowan, you can see that Kaleb was pushed in the back, into Cowen, by Maryland's Jalen Smith.
Turgeon's post-game comments somewhat overshadowed the outstanding performance of Muhammed, who was 8-for-8 from the free throw line and 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Over his last four games, Muhammed is 11-for-22 on his 3's, after going just 4-for-25 in nine games prior to that.
It was more than just a Muhammed/Kaleb Wesson show. Duane Washington scored 13 points and CJ Walker and Andre Wesson scored 12 each. The only downside in the victory was the first half injury to Kyle Young. Ohio State's unofficial leader in floor burns went down with what was described as a high ankle sprain, putting a huge question mark on his status going forward. If you missed the game, you can check out the highlights below.