Coach Kevin McGuff’s team entered today’s final non-conference game at 9-6, hoping to get to double digit wins before starting their Big Ten schedule on January 2nd by hosting Purdue.
Well, they did get their 10th win, as the Buckeyes, led by Darryce Moore’s 16 points and 6 rebounds defeated the North Carolina Central Eagles, 65-47. Ohio State showed aggressiveness throughout the game, perhaps a bit too aggressive at times. However, this team is playing hard for Coach McGuff, and “playing hard” will pick them up an extra win or two.
Ohio State got off to a fast start offensively, leading 8-3 at the 15:00 mark. OSU shot 3-7 from the field, including a 3-pointer from Cait Craft. In contrast, OSU’s defensive pressure limited NCCU to 1-7 from the field.
At the under-12 timeout, the Buckeyes had moved the lead to 14-7 based on continued respectable Fg shooting (46%) and poor NCCU shooting (30%FG, 17% FT). Up to the point, the Buckeyes were applying full court pressure, and mixing up their half-court defense among man-to-man, 1-2-2 and 2-3 zones.
At the under-8 timeout, OSU still held a 7 point lead 19-12. Ohio State had cooled off a bit, but the Buckeye defense prevented the Eagles from getting many solid looks as well.
At the 3:16 mark, OSU was still up by 7 points, 21-14. As you see from the “interval” scores, neither team was shooting very well in this stretch. A Maleeka Kynard steal and layup at the 2:43 mark, followed by a 3-pointer; a 5 point burst by Kynard, at the 2-minute mark pushed OSU to double-digit lead. A late (in possession time) fouls on OSU gave NCCU two points at the FT line. The Buckeyes entered the halftime break up 28-16, as the last two minutes of the half were marred by exchanges of turnovers.
The halftime break came at a good time for McGuff to get his troops settled down. The game started out very well for the Buckeyes with hot shooting and steady, tenacious defense, but as the half wore on, the team’s discipline and effectiveness flattened out. Ohio State committed several fouls on NCCU as the shot clock was winding down (5 seconds or less) and the Eagles were looking for any kind of decent shot. Unfortunately, OSU was willing to accommodate their guests by bailing them out with the late fouls.
The Eagles could not overcome OSU’s defensive pressure; they shot 24% (5-21) from the field and fortunately for OSU, only 50% (6-12) from the free throw line. Meanwhile, OSU shot 37% (11-30) from the field. Darryce Moore led the Buckeyes with 8 points and 5 rebounds. Maleeka Kynard’s outburst at the 2 minute mark put her 2nd on the team at 5 points for the half.
It was tough for OSU to get much flow in the half, committing 9 fouls and 7 turnovers. It was no better for the Eagles, as they committed 8 fouls and 10 turnovers.
In 2nd half action, Ameryst Alston scored three points to push the lead to 31-16 in the first minute. At the under-16 timeout, OSU had pushed their lead to 15, 35-20. This was four minutes of missed shots/turnovers by both teams, but fortunately, the Buckeyes were a bit better.
At the 12:45 mark, Cair Craft made her 2nd 3-pointer of the game, which was quickly followed by an Ashley Adams steal and outlet to a Raven Ferguson layup. So, after a fairly dull opening 8 minutes of the half, a quick Buckeye burst had them leading 43-25 with 12:12 remaining.
At the 9:00 mark, a Darryce Moore FG gave to 14 for the game and made the score 47-27, a 20-point lead. Just before the under-8 timeout, a 3-pointer by Maleeka Kynard put OSU in the lead, 50-29. At about this point, McGuff went ‘big’ with both Lisa Blair (6’6″) and Ashley Adams (6’5″) in the game. It didn’t last long, however, as Ashley Adams fouled out at the 5:50 mark.
A layup by Cait Craft with a minute remaining moved the score to 65-45. The last minute was fairly uneventful and the Buckeyes notched their 10th win, 65-47.
This was a choppy, not well played game, as both team combined for 41 turnovers (21-OSU, 20-NCCU) and 38 personal fouls, 19 fouls each. But, a win is a win, so now we can get focused on upcoming conference play.
Ohio State was led by Darryce Moore (16 points, 6 rebounds), Maleeka Kynard (11 points) and Martina Ellerbe (9 points, 7 rebounds). Ashley Adams filled the stat sheet with 3 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks. As a team, the Buckeyes shot 44% (25-54) from the field.
The North Carolina Central Eagles were led by K Conerly with 12 points and 9 rebounds. As a team, NCCU shot 27% (15-55) from the field.
Thursday 7:00PM tip-off against Purdue in Columbus.