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tBBC OSUWBB: Hot Start Powers Buckeyes Over Wolverines

Discussion in 'News' started by Charles, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Charles

    Charles Guest

    OSUWBB: Hot Start Powers Buckeyes Over Wolverines
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    The #7 Ohio State women’s basketball team headed north tonight to take on arch-rival Michigan. This was the only meeting between the two teams during the regular season as the Big Ten scheduling people don’t understand rivalries; OSU and Michigan should always play twice each season.

    Michigan scored the first four points of the game before Ohio State went on a 6 to 2 run to tie the game two and a half minutes in. The two teams would trade baskets before OSU scored 12 straight to go up 21-11 with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Wolverines hit a layup to break the streak of consecutive points but the Buckeyes closed out the quarter with a 10 to 4 run that gave them a 31—17 lead.

    The two teams traded baskets for the first three and a half minutes of the second quarter before Michigan put together seven straight points to pull within seven, 42-35, with just over four minutes to go in the half. OSU finally got their offense going again but they couldn’t shut down the Wolverines and the teams headed into halftime with the Buckeyes up 49-42.

    After Michigan hit the first basket of the second half, Ohio State scored the next seven points to stretch their lead back to double digits, 58-46, less than two minutes in. The Wolverines responded with seven straight of their own over the next two minutes to pull back within five. The runs continued as the Buckeyes scored 6 straight to go up 64-53 just past the midpoint of the quarter. Michigan would pull to with seven a couple times but Ohio State kept up their offense and held a 74-62 lead at the end of the quarter.

    The two teams traded baskets for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter and with just under three minutes left in the game, Ohio State held what looked like a comfortable eleven point lead, 85-74. The Wolverines weren’t ready to give up though, going on a 12 to 5 run to pull within four, 90-86, with thirty seconds remaining. With the clock running down, the Wolverines had to foul and Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell, Ameryst Alston, and Shayla Cooper knocked down their chances at the free throw line; this was crucial as the Wolverines kept making baskets in a frantic finish. However when the clock expired, Ohio State had a 97-93 win.

    Ohio State shot an impressive 56% from the field for the game and an amazing 55% from three point range. The Buckeyes took pretty good care of the ball, only committing 13 turnovers while recording 15 assists. OSU struggled defensively, allowing Michigan to shoot 54% from the field and 42% from outside. The Buckeyes did force 18 turnovers which they turned into 25 points. Ohio State struggled on the boards, losing the rebounding battle 36 to 28, allowing the Wolverines 18 second chance points while only getting 9 of their own.

    Kelsey Mitchell led Ohio State with 27 points, shooting a red hot 9 of 13 from the field and 5 of 8 from outside. Shayla Cooper was probably the MVP of the night thought, tallying a double-double that included a career-high 25 points to go with 13 rebounds. Cooper also added 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Ameryst Alston and Asia Doss each added 15 points with Alston also contributing 4 assists while Doss had 3 assists and an impressive 3 steals. Alexa Hart was the fifth Buckeye in double figures, scoring 10 points, grabbing 8 assists, and recording 4 blocks.

    Ohio State got off to a hot start in this one and threatened to blow the game open early but couldn’t sustain it. Instead, they allowed the Michigan offense to get the Wolverines back into the game which became a battle the rest of the way. The OSU offense has been impressive all season and continues to be nearly unstoppable; this was the 11th straight game with 80 or more points for the Buckeyes, a school record. Ohio State entered the game scoring 86.4 points per game which leads the Big Ten and is third in the country. As impressive as those numbers are, the OSU defense is a cause for concern as the Buckeyes have given up 70 or more points in the last nine games and have given up 80 or more points in 6 of their 18 games this season. Ohio State can clearly hang with anyone on offense but if they want a shot at the Final Four, their defense will have to stiffen up.

    Ohio State returns to action on Sunday when they travel to New Jersey to take on Rutgers. OSU beat the Scarlet Knights two weeks ago in Columbus, 90-78, and will have to show better defense if they want to get the sweep. The game tips at 3:00 pm eastern and can be seen on ESPN2.

    The post OSUWBB: Hot Start Powers Buckeyes Over Wolverines appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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