Dec. 4, 2013

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No. 5 Ohio State (7-0) 76, Maryland 60 (5-3)  
2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 4, 2013
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 16,206

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On Ohio State’s play to end the first half
“It started with Aaron [Craft]. I called the timeout and told the guys we could get a little risky and turn up the pressure.”

On Sam Thompson’s four alley-oops
“He is just so athletic and guys do a great job of finding him. A lot of things develop when he runs hard, and we are able to score a lot just from him running through to the basket.”

On shooting percentage
“We have talked a lot about shooting the ball and I have felt that our shooting percentage in practice was high, so it was good to see it carry over to the game finally.”

On LaQuinton Ross’s play
“LaQuinton slowed things down in his mind and that allows him to do a lot more offensively. Just the look in his face and the fact he wants to be coached is what makes a difference.”

On defensive rebounding
“If we are going to defend at the level we are defending, the finished product has got to be securing the rebound.”

On Amir Williams’ play
“Amir did a lot of good things tonight. Not as good a game statistically, but he was forced to rotate out of good rebounding position to help defensively at times.”

Aaron Craft, senior guard
On Ohio State’s fast start to the game
“We shot the ball well last game and we wanted to build off it. Obviously Maryland is a different basketball team than we played last time, but we just wanted to come out and not have a slow start. LaQuinton [Ross] helped out a lot with his early shots, which relaxes everyone else and gets us going.”

On Coach Matta’s excitement at the end of the first half
“He gets excited. He is our biggest fan when that happens. He is the first guy coming into the locker room clapping and getting us excited. After a game when we are thinking of the things we did wrong, he comes in clapping and telling us it’s a great team and we have to find a way to build off this. That is the kind of guy he is and that’s why we love playing for him.”

Sam Thompson, junior forward
On his four ally-oops
“Shannon [Scott] and Aaron [Craft] are so good at forcing steals and getting us out in transition. I do the easy part and I finish. They put the ball right on the money and I just dunk it home. Really, all the credit goes to Shannon and Craft.

On Ohio State’s defense
“No matter how well we are shooting the ball, no matter how well we are playing offensively, we will always be a team that hangs on our defense. Anytime our defense is clicking like that and we are able to get easy layups and transitions off of our defense, it really gets us into a flow offensively.”

Mark Turgeon, Maryland head coach
On Ohio State’s performance
“I thought Ohio State was terrific. They came out making shots and they got a lot of confidence off of that. I thought they executed at a high level. Craft was in total control of the game on both ends of the floor, and they made shots. We didn’t make shots tonight.”

On the last Big Ten/ACC Challenge before becoming a member of the Big Ten Conference
“We really don’t get caught up in all that stuff. We just come play the game. We knew we were playing a Top 10 team – a really good team – with great guards and a great coach. Next year, we’ll play our old league and it won’t be that big of a deal. It will be a game for us that we will have to play well in.”

On the Buckeye defense against Maryland
“I think Aaron Craft is at another level. They did a great job on Jake [Layman]. He couldn’t get going. He had some open looks that he missed … We had a lot of guys that didn’t play well. Maybe it’s them [Ohio State], maybe they’re just that good.”