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tBBC OSUWBB: Buckeyes Open NCAA Tournament With Win Over Buffalo

Discussion in 'News' started by Charles, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Charles

    Charles Guest

    OSUWBB: Buckeyes Open NCAA Tournament With Win Over Buffalo
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    After a disastrous end to the regular season and Big Ten Tournament, the Ohio State women’s basketball team got back on the court looking to show that they were the team that was viewed as a threat to make the Final Four. The nearly two weeks since their last game was good for OSU, giving them time to really work on things in practice and giving Ameryst Alston a chance to heal after spraining her wrist in the win over Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament. While Alston has been cleared to play by the doctors, the OSU coaching staff elected to keep her out of this game, starting Shayla Cooper in her place. (Above image courtesy of Ohio State athetlics)

    Buffalo scored the first five points of the game and even after Asia Doss got Ohio State on the board the Buckeyes couldn’t draw closer until midway through the first quarter when back-to-back baskets by Alexa Hart and Cait Craft briefly made it a one point game. The Bulls would push the lead back to three before a pair of three pointers by Doss triggered a 19 to 0 run that put the Buckeyes up 27-11 with less than a minute to go in the first. Buffalo would only manage to hit a free throw for the rest of the quarter which was followed by Kelsey Mitchell’s third three pointer which gave OSU a 30-12 lead after the first ten minutes.

    Buffalo scored the first five points of the second quarter on the way to an 8 to 2 start that pulled them within a dozen. Ohio State responded with 7 unanswered to extend their lead to 39-20 at the midpoint of the quarter. Following a basket and a free throw by the Bulls, the Buckeyes closed the half on a 9 to 0 run to take a 48-23 lead into the locker room.

    Ohio State scored the first nine points of the second half to extend their lead to 57-23 four minutes into the third quarter. Buffalo finally got their offense going and slowly but steadily chipped away at the OSU lead. The Bulls outscored the Buckeyes 21 to 13 over the last six minutes of the third quarter but Ohio State still held a comfortable 70-44 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

    The Ohio State defense got a bit sloppy in the fourth quarter, most likely due to a combination of having lesser used players on the floor and the commanding lead that the Buckeyes enjoyed. The OSU offense continued to roll though as the Buckeyes cruised to an 88-69 win.

    Ohio State shot 52% from the field and 47% from three point range on the game. Their free throw shooting was embarrassing though as the Buckeyes went 14 of 26 from the charity strip. OSU did a nice job of moving the ball, recording 19 assists on 33 made baskets. After allowing Buffalo to make 4 of their first 5 shots, the Ohio State defense clamped down, limiting the Bulls to only 4 makes on their other 28 shots in the first half; Buffalo would shoot 30% from the field and 32% from outside for the game. The OSU defense recorded 10 shots and forced 16 turnovers while narrowly losing the rebounding battle, 47 to 45.

    Kelsey Mitchell led Ohio State with 27 points while dishing out 6 assists and getting a block; she did commit 5 turnovers though and it would be nice to see that number drop. Shayla Cooper put on a good performance while starting in place of Alston, scoring 17 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, and adding 3 assists and 2 steals. Asia Doss added 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists and only committed one turnover. Alexa Hart put up 7 points, grabbed 5 points, and made life tough inside for the Buffalo offense as evidenced by her 5 blocks. Makayla Waterman had a very nice day coming off the bench with 6 points and a team high 8 rebounds.

    Ohio State stumbled into the tournament, losing 3 of their last 4 and struggling early in their one win while Buffalo entered this game on a roll with a surprising run through the MAC Tournament. Thus, while the Bulls weren’t a top tier opponent, this was still and important game to see if the Buckeyes had managed to get things back on the right track. It is safe to say that the two weeks of practice really paid off for the Buckeyes who looked pretty sharp on offense and displayed an improved defense. The OSU defense was impressively aggressive the first half, forcing turnovers and really limiting Buffalo’s ability to get the ball inside. Putting up 88 points was nice to see without Ameryst Alston out there, she should be back on the court for the next game. There is still room for improvement, especially at the free throw line and in playing tough defense for the full forty minutes. Still, this is how you want to start the NCAA tournament.

    Ohio State will take on 6 seed West Virginia on Sunday in the second round. The Mountaineers survived a tougher than expected battle against 11 seed Princeton today.

    The post OSUWBB: Buckeyes Open NCAA Tournament With Win Over Buffalo appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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