After losing to the UConn Huskies on Sunday, things don’t get much easier for McGuff’s team since they travel to College Park, MD to play the University of Maryland Terrapins as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Terrapins are 7-1, their only loss coming to UConn.
Here’s a profile on the University of Maryland
School: University of Maryland
Location: College Park, MD
Student Population: 26,487
School Type: Public, coed
Conference: ACC (for now)
Arena: Comcast Center
Head Coach: Brenda Frese
The Buckeyes have an “interim” game in the Hall of Fame Challenge on Wednesday by hosting the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks. After Sunday’s game against Bowling Green, OSU goes to Springfield, MA to play UConn. In the meantime however, McGuff’s team has to deal with Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks enter this contest on a 3-game winning streak and are at 5-1.
Here’s a profile on Lehigh University
School: Lehigh University
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Student Population: 4,883
School Type: Private
Conference: Patriot League
Arena: Stabler Arena
Head Coach: Sue Troyan
The Buckeyes hosted the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs in the 1st round of the Hall of Fame Challenge. This is the first of three consecutive games for these teams, so this Challenge will prove a good mental and physical test.
Battling early game turnovers, Ohio State got off to a bit of a slow start with 3 early giveaways. The Buckeyes did a good job of beating the OD press, but had trouble with the entry passes to the post. OSU improved their status at the under-12 timeout by pulling ahead 13-12, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Maleeka Kynard. OSU had been working on using their superior height by running a double high post involving Ashley Adams and Martina Ellerbe. At the 8:14 mark, a trey by Ameryst Alston push the score to 22-14. McGuff has a well conceived game plan with the double-high. When the feed pass when into one post player, the other broke to the basket for a pass. Nicely planned.
Sorry to be a little late on this…
Here we are, Game 2 of the Kevin McGuff era, and things are looking good for the Ohio State women’s program. The Buckeyes politely welcomed the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Owls by edging them by the score of 91-88. Despite running off to a 52-41 lead in the 1st half, the Buckeyes tried to see if they could commit more fouls than turnovers in the 2nd half. But, a win is a win, and Coach McGuff is 2-0 as Buckeye head coach.
Ashley Adams got things rocking with a basket :16 into the game, and it was hold on to your hats time. By the time the dust had settled at halftime, Ohio State had moved out to a 52-41 lead. Cait Craft, Ameryst Alston (again) and Ashley Adams powered the 1st half offense. As mentioned in the Preview, FAU struggled a bit with OSU’s size and athleticism. OSU had a 14-4 foul advantage in the 1st half, but up to the 9:00 minute nark, in the 2nd half, the foul differential had evened out
Both coaches made use of frequent substitutions in an attempt to get fresh players on the floor. The Owls amped up the intensity in the 2nd half and at about the 11:00 mark, pulled within 10, before a Cait Crat FG moved margin back to 12 points. However, the 2nd half was more problematic for OSU as numerous fouls and turnovers kept FAU within striking distance. At the 5:40 mark, FAU had closed the gap to 10 points, 80-70. At the under 5 time-out, FAU had pulled with 8, 83-75. Follow me here; at the 2:38 mark, the margin was still 8 points, 86-78, until Latavia Dempsey hits a 3-pointer 86-81.. At the 1:49 it’s now 86-83, at 1:44 it’s 86-85 and the Buckeyes are looking to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.. at :45 mark a Darryce Moor +1 moves margin to 4 points, 89-85. Good thing, too, since an Owl 3-pointer pulled them to within 1 point, 89-88. Two free-throws by Alston sealed the deal at 91-88.
Cait Craft led the Buckeyes with a career high 29 points, with Ameryst Alston scoring 28 and Ashley Adams 14 points. Adams also had 14 rebounds for a double-double, and Darryce Moore also had a DD with 11 points and 10 rebounds. It was a pretty good offensive game, obviously, but the down side was that Craft, Alston and Adams also committed 5 turnovers apiece.
In the preview I thought this would be a good test to see how the Buckeyes could fare against a ‘guard-heavy’ team in the Owls. They won, but could easily have lost. The upcoming opponent, VCU will stress OSU again later this week.
The start of the 2013-2014 season represents the dawn of a new era for Ohio State women’s basketball as Kevin McGuff begins his tenure as the head coach of the Buckeyes. After returning OSU to their proper place at the top of the Big Ten, Jim Foster was let go at the end of last season after three years of slipping performance. After two seasons as the head coach of Washington, McGuff returns to Ohio, he had been the head coach at Xavier for six years before taking the job with the Huskies, with the charge to get OSU to take the next step and compete for National Championships.
McGuff has promised an up-tempo, exciting style of play and his first couple months on the job have certainly shown that he understands up-tempo and exciting. He quickly assembled a coaching staff with a diverse variety of backgrounds: Joy Cheek (previously assistant coach at national power Duke), Patrick Klein (assistant coach at OSU under Foster), and Mark Mitchell (a state championship winning high school boys coach from Taft High School in Cincinnati). With no incoming class signed by Foster, McGuff knew that he had to hit the recruiting trail hard and he quickly made a splash, signing five high profile players (Kelsey Mitchell, Chelsea Mitchell, Alexa Hart, Makayla Waterman, and Asia Doss) who will don the scarlet and gray next season as part of perhaps the best recruiting class ever at OSU.
Adjusting to a new coach is always tough and this season the Buckeyes face the additional challenge of having to replace two of their top players and team leaders from last season as Tayler Hill and Amber Stokes graduated. Hill led the team in scoring (representing almost one third of OSU’s points), assists, and steals while Stokes was second on the team in steals and was third in points. Replacing both Hill and Stokes will be a tall task but OSU returns a lot of talent who have all played together before and who should now be much more comfortable with each other’s styles.
After winning just their second Big Ten game of the year by beating Indiana on Super Bowl Sunday, the Ohio State women’s basketball team hosted Wisconsin in an attempt to finally get a conference winning streak going. This game also represented the first chance at revenge this season for the Buckeyes who lost in Madison last month thanks to a disastrous second half where OSU couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.
The first half was a tight, back-and-forth affair where neither team could get much breathing room in a very tough defensive battle where both teams really slowed down the pace of play. Wisconsin opened with a 6-2 lead only to see Ohio State tie it up at 6 after approximately six minutes of action. The Badgers would go back out front, 10-8 before the Buckeyes scored 7 straight to open up a 15-10 lead with just over seven minutes left in the half. Just as it seemed like OSU was going to have some nice momentum, Wisconsin responded with an 8 to 2 run of their own to retake the lead, 18-17, with four minutes remaining in the half. Those last four minutes continued the defensive, back-and-forth nature of the game but Ohio State managed to claw their way to a 26-24 halftime lead.
After finally getting their first Big Ten win two weeks ago, Ohio State has lost two straight. The first loss was to hapless Wisconsin while the second was to a top 10 Penn State squad; the common aspect of both losses was disastrous second half collapses where the normally hot shooting Buckeyes couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. OSU’s 11-9 overall, 1-6 Big Ten, record made this game a must win if the Buckeyes want to make the NCAA tournament. The importance of this game was not lost on Coach Foster who tinkered with his starting lineup, inserting Maleeka Kynard and Aleksandra Dobranic into the lineup next to Tayler Hill, Ameryst Alston, and Ashley Adams.
In another new twist, Ohio State opened in a zone defense struggled to match-up well on the perimeter and Nebraska took advantage by hitting a quick trio of three pointers to take an 11-4 lead six and a half minutes into the game. The Buckeyes responded though, capitalizing on some Nebraska turnovers to score 7 straight points, tying the game at 11 midway through the first half. The two teams would go back and forth for the next several minutes before the Cornhuskers went on 10-0 run to take a 34-21 lead with eighteen seconds remaining in the half. Tayler Hill would convert an old fashioned three point play in the closing sections to trim the Nebraska lead to 34-24 as the teams headed into the locker rooms.
Its only mid-January but for the Ohio State women’s basketball team tonight’s game against Indiana was a must win. An 0-4 start to Big Ten play, the worst in the history of the program, had led to OSU being dropped from the national rankings and had essentially destroyed any realistic hopes of winning a Big Ten title. Starting with tonight’s game the Buckeyes were battling for a first day bye in the Big Ten tournament and an NCAA tournament berth. OSU got a boost heading into this game as Tayler Hill and Maleeka Kynard both returned to action after sitting out last game due to illness.
Ohio State did not get off to a good start as they missed their first six shots from the field, taking more than three and a half minutes to hit their first field goal. Fortunately Indiana wasn’t really shooting any better and at the first television timeout the game was tied at 2 points for each team. The Hoosiers scored the first four points out of that tv timeout but then the Buckeyes responded with a 10 to 2 run to take a 12-8 lead with eleven minutes remaining in the half. Indiana quickly retook the lead with a 9 to 2 run of their own before OSU countered with six straight points to go ahead 20-17 with five minutes on the clock. The two teams would essentially trade baskets for the rest of the half with the Buckeyes managing to extend their lead to 30-24 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.