The Big Ten had just one game on Sunday with a big matchup between Maryland and Oklahoma State. The Terps went on the road to to put their 10-1 record on the line against a good Oklahoma State team. The Cowboys also entered the game with just 1 loss to a surprisingly good South Carolina team on the road. Considering these facts, this was one of the biggest games for the conference this week and would be one of the Big Ten's last chances to grab a quality non-conference win this year before the postseason.
Game of the Day: Maryland at Oklahoma State
The Terrapins got out to a slim lead early, but the 1st Half was highly competitive. In fact, both teams led for segments and although Maryland got out to a 10 point lead before halftime, the Cowboys were able to close it up and head to the locker room down 32-27. The key part of the game was after halftime, when Maryland went on a big run to push the lead to 47-20. After that, they never really looked back. Oklahoma State would make their runs, by they could never get close enough to really threaten Maryland.
This was a huge win for Maryland. Regardless of the perception of Oklahoma State, they were a quality team and going on the road into a hostile environment and beating a quality team is never easy. Even if the Cowboys do turn out to be a bit overrated, this is still going to be a huge resume booster when the Terps are battling for postseason seeding in March. Maryland may be slipping under the radar a bit right now, but this is a quality team. It's impossible to know just how good this Maryland team is this season, but we do know that this team is good. At this point in the year, they just might hold 2 of the Big Ten's top 5 wins as a conference. Struggles or not, that's a big feat and tells a lot about a Maryland team that may be playing without its best player.
Speaking of Maryland's best player, one particular player stood out in this game and it was Jake Layman. Over the last few years, Layman may not have been a player that got a ton of attention, but he deserves it right now. The Terps are 12 games into the season and he has scored double digits in every game, has a 120.9 offensive rating, a 65.0% true shooting percentage, and a 17.1% defensive rebounding rate. In Maryland's game against Oklahoma State, he had 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. He was aggressive on the offensive end and was a huge factor on the boards. Melo Trimble has been really good for Maryland so far this season, but Layman has been doing plenty of work himself. He could be a quiet player that really allows Maryland to compete for the top of the Big Ten this season.
Maryland concludes its non-conference play with the Oakland Grizzlies next Saturday.