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tBBC OSUWBB: Buckeyes Trip Terps, 80-71

Discussion in 'News' started by Charles, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Charles

    Charles Guest

    OSUWBB: Buckeyes Trip Terps, 80-71
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    (Coach McGuff has reason to applaud)

    The #9 Ohio State women’s basketball team didn’t have much time to celebrate the new year or enjoy their victory in the Big Ten opener. After knocking off #24 Michigan State on New Year’s Eve, the Buckeyes traveled to College Park to take on #5 Maryland. The Buckeyes got the new year off to an impressive start by taking down the Terps, 80-71.

    First Half

    The game got off to a sloppy start with both teams committing turnovers and struggling to hit shots and after four minutes Maryland held a 4-0 lead. A Cait Craft free throw finally put OSU on the board and a pair of Shayla Cooper free throws shortly after pulled the Buckeyes within one. Both teams finally got their offenses going at that point and traded baskets for the rest of the quarter with Maryland holding an 18-14 lead at the end of the first.

    Ameryst Alston hit a three pointer to open the second quarter which pulled Ohio State within one but Maryland responded with a three pointer of their own which sparked a 10 to 3 run that put the Terrapins up 28-20 with six and a half minutes left in the half. Once again both teams would trade baskets for the last five minutes of the quarter and the Buckeyes were able to trim the Maryland lead to three, 40-37, at halftime.

    Second Half

    Maryland hit their first shot of the second half to extend their lead to five but then Ohio State kicked things up a notch, scoring nine straight points to take their first lead of the game, 46-42, just over two minutes into the quarter. The Terrapins responded with a 7 to 1 run of their own over the next minute to retake the lead 49-47. After trading baskets and the lead for the next couple minutes, OSU scored seven straight to take their biggest lead of the game. Maryland would hit the last basket of the quarter but Ohio State still held a 61-57 lead heading into the fourth.

    The two teams traded baskets to open the fourth quarter with Ohio State unable to really extend their lead and Maryland unable to draw closer. The Buckeyes would twice go up by seven points but the Terrapins would pull to within three, 72-69, with just over three minutes remaining. On the road, in front of a hostile crowd, OSU dug deep and responded by scoring the next eight points, holding Maryland scoreless for three minutes as the Buckeyes pulled off the 80-71 upset.


    Ohio State shot a solid 46% from the floor and 28% from three point range. The Buckeyes did a great job of moving the ball, recording 19 assists on 30 baskets while only committing 13 turnovers. Defensively OSU allowed Maryland to shoot 47% from the field and 32% from three point range; both teams struggled with free throws as the Buckeyes shot a disappointing 63% from the line and the Terrapins shot an even worse 54%. The OSU defensive pressure forced 20 Maryland turnovers which the Buckeyes turned into 16 points. The most remarkable stat line was probably in the rebound column where OSU mostly held their own, only getting out-rebounded 38 to 35; this is a major accomplishment as Maryland came into the game out-rebounding teams by 20.5 rebounds per game, the best margin in the country.

    Kelsey Mitchell led Ohio State with 28 points while adding 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals though she committed 6 turnovers. Alexa Hart had perhaps her best offensive game of the season, going 10 of 12 from the field to score 20 points while also adding 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ameryst Alston added 12 points, 6 rebounds, and had 3 assists while not committing any turnovers. Shayla Cooper once again was a force off the bench, posting her second straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds; she also added 6 assists despite only playing 25 minutes before fouling out.

    Final Thoughts

    This was the biggest win of the season for Ohio State. They were on the road in front of a hostile crowd taking on a top 5 team that had lost by only 10 to top ranked UConn last week. Maryland had yet to lose a Big Ten game since joining the conference last year and had won their last 31 games against Big Ten opponents dating back to when they were in the ACC. While history doesn’t win games, it can certainly be intimidating and Maryland had made it clear that they were the team to beat in the Big Ten.

    That intimidation factor may have played a role in OSU’s slow start; the Buckeyes shot only 31% from the field in the first quarter which certainly suggests nerves. The team didn’t let that get them down and they shook off any intimidation that Maryland may have had as the Buckeyes scrapped back. After taking the lead in the third quarter, OSU stood tall in the face of a hostile crowd, coming up big in the fourth quarter by shooting 57% while holding Maryland to only 31% in the final ten minutes.

    There are a lot of things to praise in this game. Kelsey Mitchell bounced back solidly after a poor shooting night against MSU to put on her typical dominating performance. Shayla Cooper continues to be a force off the bench and Alexa Hart had her best offensive game of the season. However the thing that deserves the most praise was Ohio State’s performance on the board. The Buckeyes have struggled with rebounding for the past several seasons and Maryland entered this game having dominated almost everyone on the boards this season; holding the biggest rebounding edge in the country. This would seem to be a recipe for disaster but OSU showed amazing improvement on the boards, not only holding their own but having a 16 to 5 edge in second chance points.

    There are of course things that still need work, Mitchell can still be turnover prone at times, Cooper needs to be careful when it comes to committing fouls, and a 63% performance from the free throw line is unacceptable. However Ohio State’s ridiculously difficult schedule to open the season seems to be starting to pay dividends as the Buckeyes won a battle on the road against a top 5 team that was in the Final Four last year. This win moves OSU to 2-0 in the Big Ten and makes them the new favorite for the Big Ten title.

    Ohio State returns to action on Thursday when they host Indiana at 7:00pm.

    The post OSUWBB: Buckeyes Trip Terps, 80-71 appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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