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tBBC OSUWBB: Ohio State Demolishes Illinois on Senior Day

Discussion in 'News' started by Charles, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Charles

    Charles Guest

    OSUWBB: Ohio State Demolishes Illinois on Senior Day
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    Senior day is always a special game for both the players and the fans. The emotions of the day often spark big performance, both from the departing seniors and from the other players who want to send their teammates out on a high note. Today was no exception as the Buckeyes put on an amazing show in the last regular season home game for Ameryst Alston, Cait Craft, and Kalpana Beach.

    The game got off to a tight start and was tied at 7 just over two minutes in when a three pointer by Ameryst Alston sparked a 14 to 4 run that put Ohio State up 21-11 halfway through the first quarter. A 6 to 2 mini-run by Illinois briefly made it a two possession game but the Buckeye offense continued to be on fire and OSU quickly pushed the lead back to double digits. The Illini would briefly pull to within seven in the closing minutes but the first quarter ended with OSU up 37-24.

    Back-to-back three pointers by Kelsey Mitchell opened the second quarter and demonstrated that the Ohio State offense wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down. That would be true for the rest of the quarter as the Illinois defense could do very little to stop the Buckeyes from scoring. OSU’s lead would hover around 20 points for most of the quarter before closing the half on an 8 to 2 run that gave Ohio State a commanding 67-40 lead as the teams headed for the locker room.

    Ohio State kept the momentum to start the second half, scoring the first seven points of the third quarter to extend their lead to 74-40 just a minute and a half into the second half. The OSU offense continued to be unstoppable and Illinois had no hope of keeping up as the Buckeye lead would get as high as 45 several times on the way to a stunning 117-74 triumph.

    Ohio State shot an amazing 62% from the field and 55% from three point range. As stunning as those numbers are, they would have been even higher if not for a fourth quarter that saw mostly bench players on the court; OSU shot 66% from the field and 63% from outside through the first three quarters. The Buckeyes did an amazing job of taking care of the ball, committing only 8 turnovers while dishing out 18 assists. Defensively Ohio State allowed Illinois to shoot 40% from the field but only 20% from three point range. The Buckeyes dominated the boards, winning the rebounding battle 41 to 27.

    Ameryst Alston made the most of her final home game, scoring a game high 39 points while dishing out 5 assists and not committing a single turnover. Alston actually had a chance to tie the OSU single game record of 42 points, currently held by Samantha Prahalis and Kelsey Mitchell, but she missed a three pointer in the closing minutes.

    Kelsey Mitchell may not have been the leading scorer but may have put on the most impressive shooting performance in Ohio State history. Mitchell scored 35 points while going 11 of 14 from the field and an unbelievable 8 of 9 from three point range. She also added 5 assists just for good measure. Making Mitchell’s performance even more impressive was the fact that she did it all in just 24 minutes.

    Shayla Cooper continued to impress off the bench, scoring 15 points while grabbing 5 rebounds and blocking 2 shots. Alexa Hart and Asia Doss each added 8 points while Makayla Waterman came off the bench for a team high 9 rebounds. Kalpana Beach scored 6 points in her last home game of a career that started off with such promise but then was derailed by recurring knee problems.

    Ohio State’s 117 points set a new team record for points scored in Value City Arena and came up just two points short of the program record of 119 that was set against Idaho State in 1994 when games were played in St Johns.

    It is hard to put into words just how amazing this offensive performance was. Ohio State shot amazingly well, took care of the ball well, and dominated the boards; the only thing you could ask for is perhaps a defense that forced a few more turnovers. Making things even better is the fact that offensive performances along these lines have become a trend. OSU’s shooting has been on fire for four of the last five games with the game against Penn State last Sunday being the one exception. At this point OSU’s offense is looking like the scariest in the country and they seem to be surging at the right time.

    Ohio State can’t rest on its laurels though as there are still two more regular season games and then the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments and you can be sure that the Buckeyes will have a huge target on their backs. Up next OSU travels to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers and their own offensive superstar Rachel Banham who is a deadly shot. That game will tip at 8:00 pm on Wednesday and can be seen on BTN Plus.

    The post OSUWBB: Ohio State Demolishes Illinois on Senior Day appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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