Coach Kevin’s crew hosted the 24th ranked Gonzaga Zags with a noon tip off today. Ohio State entered the game 6-4 record while Gonzaga entered with a 6-1 record.
The first minute and a half went well for the Buckeyes, as they moved out to a 4-0 lead, then things went sideways for Ohio State. During the next seven and a half minutes, OSU went scoreless, while Gonzaga scored 22 points, going up 22-4. The Buckeyes would chip into the Zag lead, and with 4 minutes remaining, had narrowed the gap to 28-16. The teams would hold serve, with Gonzaga taking a 32-20 lead into the half.
Ameryst Alston ked OSU in 1st half scoring with 9 points, while Darryce Moore had 4 points and 4 rebounds. This first half deficit was caused by two main issues; poor shooting (8-27, 30%) and even poorer ball handling (9 turnovers). Meanwhile, the Zags were led by 6’4″ forward, German native Sunny Greinacher with 8 points and 7 rebounds, along with Haiden Palmer’s 6 points & 6 boards and Lindsey Sherbert’s 6 points.
In the 2nd half, the Zags and the Buckeyes went on offsetting mini-runs, and at the 12 minute mark, OSU trailed by 10, 35-45. By the 9:40 mark, the lead was at 12, 39-51, as Ohio State could not sustain any runs, and Gonzaga, due to cooler shooting and a few more turnovers of their own, could not pull away.
At outside the 6 minute mark, a jumper by Lisa Blair followed by a 3-pointer by Raven Ferguson pulled the Buckeyes to with 2 points, 49-51. The Zaps moved the score to 53-49, then on the next several possessions, Cait Craft and Lindsay Sherbert traded turnovers, until Martina Ellerbe put an end to it with a score to pull OSU within 2 points again, 51-53.
At just outside the 3:00 mark, Sunny Greinacher made a jumper to push score to 55-52, which was answered by a Raven Ferguson layup to pull OSU to with-in one point, 55-54.Over the next two minutes, both teams traded turnovers and missed shots leading up to an Ohio State time out at the 1:02 mark..
A Darryce Moore layup with :40 gave OSU their first lead (56-55) since the first two minutes of the game, which of course set up a thrilling finish. The Zags scored with :21 to retake the lead, then Ameryst Alston made a layup with :07 left as OSU retook the lead, but Gonzaga’s Shaniqua Nilles made a jumper with :01 left to win the game for the Zags, 59-58.
This was a spirited effort by the Buckeyes, after looking abysmal in the 1st half, they fought and executed in the second half, outscoring Gonzaga 38-27. Unfortunately, it was one point short.
Ohio State was led by Ameryst Alston (18 points, 7 rebounds), Martina Ellerbe (9 points, 7 rebounds) and Darryce Moore (9 points, 8 rebounds). The Buckeyes just had no answer for the Zag’s 6’4″ Greinacher, as she contributed 18 points and 14 rebounds in the winning effort. Curiously, this was another virtual no-show by OSU’s Ashley Adams, 0-2 from the field and 1 rebound.
Ohio State actually outshot Gonzaga, 40% to 35%, each making 24 field goals; Zags making 7 3-pointers to OSU’s 4.
Ohio State’s next game is Friday the 13th at 7:00PM , as they host Army.