COLLEGE PARK, Md. — On a perfect night for Michal Cekovsky, Maryland enjoyed a long-awaited blowout victory.
Cekovsky made every shot he took, scoring 15 points to go with eight rebounds to help the Terrapins breeze past Ohio 87-62 Thursday night.
Cekovsky went 6 for 6 from floor and sank all three of his free throws. The 7-foot-1 senior from Slovakia was pulled with 7:22 left and finished one point short of his career high.
“He was really good,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “The game was going in slow motion for him. That was the best part. Ceko likes to speed up a little bit over the years, and he was just so calm out there.”
It helped that Ohio doesn’t have a player on the roster taller than 6-9.
“That was our plan, to post the ball more,” Cekovsky said. “We followed the game plan.”
The victory was marred by an injury to 6-10 freshman forward Bruno Fernando, who sprained his right ankle with 11:21 remaining and was helped off the court.
“We think it’s a low ankle sprain,” Turgeon said. “He probably won’t play Saturday, probably won’t play Tuesday, but we’ll see — which is good news.”
Kevin Huerter scored 17 points for Maryland (8-3), and Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Coming off three straight tough games — narrow losses to Syracuse and Purdue, followed by an overtime victory at Illinois — the Terrapins never trailed. It was the first time in six games since Nov. 20 that Maryland won by at least 20 points.
“If you’d have told me we were going to win this game by 25 and everybody was going to get in, I’d have thought you were crazy,” Turgeon said
Mike Laster scored 14 for the Bobcats (4-4). Ohio, a member of the Mid-American Conference, came in averaging 80.3 points per game.
“They are a good defensive team because of their size and we didn’t handle it well,” Bobcats coach Saul Phillips said.
Maryland sophomore forward Justin Jackson missed part of Wednesday’s practice with an illness and was absent from the starting lineup for only the fourth time in 43 games. He played 19 minutes and scored 10 points.
The Terps made their first five shots and got six points from Cekovsky in grabbing a 15-2 lead. Maryland then missed six of nine attempts before Jackson peeled off nine straight points to make it 30-14.
Huerter had only six points in the first half, which ended with Maryland up 41-28. The sophomore guard scored eight points in the first eight minutes after halftime, including a soft jump shot that made it 51-31 with 16:55 left.
SLOPPY WITH THE BALL
The Terrapins committed 19 turnovers, with nine different players being guilty of at least one.
“Man, some of our turnovers are comical. I’m like, ‘Did that really happen?'” Turgeon said. “Hopefully, we’re getting them all out of the way and when the New Year hits, it changes. Some of them are just mind-boggling.”
With Cekovsky and Cowan leading the way, the taller Terrapins finished with a 49-29 rebounding advantage.
Huerter collected six rebounds, as did Fernando.
Ohio: The Bobcats had no trouble against two other teams from Maryland, defeating Mount St. Mary’s and Coppin State with ease. Though Ohio defeated Maryland in 2007, this time it was no match for the state’s biggest university and its only Power 5 team.
Maryland: After blowing a 22-point lead at Illinois, the Terrapins got off to a quick start against Ohio and stayed comfortably in front. That’s a perfect blueprint for success, especially when Big Ten play resumes on Jan. 2 against Penn State.
Ohio: Hosts Western Kentucky on Sunday.
Maryland: Face Garner-Webb on Saturday afternoon, the second of six straight home games for the Terrapins.