We wrap up the Buckeyes regular season with a get together to discuss our feelings about multiple topics. We’re pleased to have Marty Bannister from The Fan in Columbus and the voice of the Buckeyes join us and give his thoughts on the regular season. We also have women’s basketball season ticket holder and superfan Jeff Howell joining us with his insight to our Q&A. I have included links in the participant’s names for their twitters, please follow if you aren’t already! Let’s get started.
Marty - Two things pop to mind right away, the signing of the highly rated freshman recruiting class, led Cincinnati Princeton’s Kelsey Mitchell and Kettering Fairmont’s Makayla Waterman, and then that same week, opening with a win at then 12th ranked, and now 7th ranked, West Virginia. That win came without Raven Ferguson, suspended for the first 3 games, and the Buckeyes played the final 1:20 with only 5 eligible players. That same Mountaineer team won at Baylor this past weekend,snapping the defending champs 35 game home court win streak.
Jeff - To me the highlight of McGuff’s first season was the ability of he and his staff to “coach up” this team. There have obviously been more talented Lady Buckeye teams in the past, but in my 12 years as a season ticket holder I have never seen a Lady Buckeye team with more heart and effort than this year’s team. Let’s face it – other than Ameryst Alston, this team was largely made up of role players, who provided a specific area of expertise: a rebounder – Moore/Adams, a defensive stopper – Craft, an energy person – Scullion, a person who can take someone off the dribble – Raven, a person who can hit an open shot – Ellerbe. None of these had the all around, everything game of Alston. McGuff and his staff were able to get the most out of nothing from this group and for the most part were competitive in every single game. His whole approach to practices, warm-ups prior to the game start, his engaging energy on the bench, etc. were refreshing and will bode well going forward.
Ken - The season opening win against West Virginia. In their first game, they visited a very good team and won an away game. Good times were ahead for us.
Mali - We beat Michigan at Michigan. That’s never ever a bad thing.
Charles - This is a tossup between the season opening win on the road against a good West Virginia team, always good to get a win in your first game as head coach, and the upset of 17th ranked Purdue in the first Big Ten game. Beating a ranked conference foe is a big deal and was made better because it was against Purdue who I possibly hate more than Michigan in women’s basketball.
WVaBuckeye - I have two that are ties from my perspective. First, was the way this team came out and performed to his expectations and that definitely became the catalyst for players who just weren’t going to handle the improvement. I think that’s a positive thing. Second, is the tireless work in which he and staff put in with regards to the class that’s coming in and the two stars transferring. The season and recruiting is a testament to him because he did a lot with very little so to speak.
Head coach Kevin McGuff has has some more work to do this season but his first three All-B1G honorees have been named and the streak of All-B1G first team honorees continues for the Buckeyes as Ameryst Alston has been so honored.
I tweeted the Canton McKinley product yesterday, @am_bam14 that she had been sending a message to the B1G coaches and media all season, and evidently they got it. Her honors on both lists marks the 10th consecutive season that at least one Buckeye has earned first team honors and is the 12th overall selection since 2005.
Alston, who’s just a sophomore, finished the regular season third with 20.3 ppg and led the team with 99 assists and 36 steals. She lit up the nets from the outside as well at opportune times in key upsets and had 33 total trifectas during the season. She will have plenty of help next season and should repeat as an All-B1G performer.
Junior guard and former Columbus Africentric star Raven Ferguson, who earned honorable mention honors by the media, was a front runner for Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year honors. @ThatsSORaven_31 was second on the team in scoring with 12.8 ppg, the sharpshooting guard led the Buckeyes with 19 three-point field goals in conference play and was a force on the glass at both ends of the court. There were many moments during the season that she was the team leader in scoring or rebounding and has cemented her spot on the team when the fresh talent comes in next season.
Salem Ohio Red-shirt junior Amy Scullion was Ohio State’s recipient of the Big Ten’s Sportsmanship Award and has elected to forego her senior season to focus on med school. One of the more consistent players this season she started 31 of 32 games. She averaged 3.3 ppg and 4 rpg and had a career high 19 points against UT-Martin this season. Her leadership will be missed moving forward, but she obviously left an impression on the rest of the conference for the type of person she is.
Congratulations to the honorees and the best of luck keeping your season going in the B1G tournament this week!
Ohio State First Team All-Big Ten selections (since 2005);2005 – Jessica Davenport; 2006 – Jessica Davenport; 2007 – Jessica Davenport; 2008 - Jantel Lavender; 2009 - Jantel Lavender; 2010 - Jantel Lavender, Samantha Prahalis; 2011 - Jantel Lavender; 2012 - Tayler Hill, Samantha Prahalis; 2013 - Tayler Hill; 2014 - Ameryst Alston
The Ohio State women’s basketball team entered their final home game of the 2013-2014 season today on a five game losing streak that had seen the Buckeyes go from solid contenders for an NCAA tournament berth to under .500 on the season and had fueled speculation that the team had just kind of hung it up for the rest of the season. Even though there is still a week left in the regular season, OSU’s last two games are on the road so today’s game was Senior Day for Martina Ellerbe, Amy Scullion, Darryce Moore, Ashley Adams, and Aleksandra Dobranic. Ohio State has really struggled on Sunday’s during the Big Ten season and considering their losing streak coming into the game, there were lots of doubts about whether they could send the seniors out correctly.
Ohio State got things off to an encouraging start with senior Martina Ellerbe opening the scoring with a three pointer as OSU jumped out to an early 7-2 lead. Northwestern would score the next five points before OSU went on a 14 to 3 run to open up a 23-10 lead at the midpoint of the first half. After trading baskets for the next few minutes, the Buckeyes scored 10 straight points, thanks to a pair of three pointers by Raven Ferguson, to extend their lead to 37-16 with five minutes remaining in the half. The teams would trade baskets the rest of the way and Ohio State led 41-21 at the half.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (14-15, 4-9) host the Northwestern Wildcats (14-12, 4-9) Sunday for a noon tip-off. Ohio State, losers of five straight games, look to get a win against a pretty so-so Northwestern team. But then Northwestern, also losers of five straight games, is probably thinking the same thing. The Buckeyes lost a tough game 67-59 to #17 Nebraska on Thursday, while Northwestern lost 82-73 to #9 Penn State the same evening.
Here’s their Profile
After suffering back-to-back road losses at Wisconsin and Purdue, the Ohio State women’s basketball team returned home to Columbus hoping the friendlier confines of the Schott would help them get back to winning. The Big Ten scheduling gods were not going to make that easy though as standing in the way was 9th ranked Penn State who had already defeated OSU 66-42 in Happy Valley back in January.
Things started off well for Ohio State as a Darryce Moore layup opened the scoring and the Buckeyes got up to an early 7-4 just over two minutes into the game. Penn State would use a 9 to 4 run to change that and take a 13-9 lead with just over fifteen minutes remaining in the half. The Buckeyes would narrow that gap to one only to see the Nittany Lions quickly open the lead back to 5, 19-14, near the midpoint of the half. Down 24-19 with just over eight minutes before the break, Ohio State got a spark from three points by Amy Scullion and Martina Ellerbe and used that momentum to go on a 14 to 2 run that gave the Buckeyes a 33-26 lead with just under five minutes to go in the half. Despite all the momentum on their side, Ohio State suddenly found themselves going cold from the field and Penn State responded by chipping away at the lead and then making a layup just before the buzzer to go into the locker room leading 38-36.
OSU’s cold shooting continued at the start of the second half and the Buckeyes quickly found themselves in a double-digit hole, 47-36, just four minutes into the second period. Five straight points by the Buckeyes pulled them back within six but they still couldn’t find their shot and the Nittany Lions used a 10 to 1 run to put themselves back up by double digits and put the game out of reach as PSU would coast the rest of the way to a 74-54 win.
After getting bouncing back from a disappointing upset at the hands of Cincinnati with a dominating win over UT Martin, the Ohio State women’s basketball team looked to get on a winning streak as they played host to Appalachian State. While the Mountaineers entered this game with a 2-7 record, Buckeye fans everywhere should know that you can’t take Appalachian State lightly (yes, every article about Appy State must have that video included somehow).
The warning about not taking Appalachian State lightly seemed to be very prudent as the Mountaineers scored the first five points of the game on their way to getting out to an early 7-1 lead. Faced with that surprising deficit, Ohio State finally woke up and used an 10 to 2 run to take an 11-9 lead approximately six minutes into the action. The Buckeyes weren’t able to sustain that momentum though and a combination of poor shooting and turnovers led to an eight and a half minute scoreless streak. Fortunately the OSU defense continued to play tough and while Appalachian State was able to use OSU’s struggles to retake the lead, they were only able to go up 17-11 at the midpoint in the half before going on an eight and a half minute scoreless streak of their own; there was actually a four minute stretch where neither team scored. Once the Buckeyes figured out how to score again, they managed to trim the Mountaineer lead to one point, 17-16, with three and half minutes remaining in the half. OSU couldn’t retake the lead though and the two teams concluded the first half with Appalachian State leading 21-18.
Like they did in the first half, Appalachian State scored the first five points of the second half to go up 26-18 and cause OSU fans to worry that they were about to be the next Big Ten team to fall victim to the Mountaineers. Fortunately the OSU team had other plans and the defense clamped down, once again causing a scoreless streak for the Mountaineers that lasted over eight minutes. In the meantime the Buckeye offense showed some signs of life, scoring 16 points to put OSU up 32-26 with eight and half minutes remaining. A jumper by Appy State leading scorer on the season Maryah Sydnor ended the scoreless streak for the Mountaineers but the Buckeyes weren’t impressed as they then went on a 14 to 2 run to take control of the game with a 48-32 lead with three and a half minutes remaining on the clock. OSU would coast the rest of the way to a 52-38 win.
After a disappointing loss at Cincinnati on Sunday, the Ohio State women’s basketball team saw their record fall to 7-6 on the season. With the holidays and the start of Big Ten season looming, the Buckeyes need to finish off the non-conference part of the schedule strong in order to build some momentum to carry into 2014. OSU has been 1-4 away from Columbus so it is fortunate that the last three non-conference games are all in Columbus, starting with tonight’s game against University of Tennessee Martin.
The game got off to a slow start with neither team shooting well and six minutes in the score was tied at 8. Amy Scullion’s second three pointer of the night got things going for the Ohio State offense as Cait Craft quickly followed with a three pointer of her own to put the Buckeyes up 14-8. A three pointer by UT Martin cut the lead to three but OSU responded with 13 straight points to go up 27-11 with just under eight minutes left in the half. Even when the Skyhawks managed to score to stop the OSU streak, it didn’t slow down the Buckeyes who extended their lead to 33-14 with a minute and a half remaining in the half. At that point it seemed that the Buckeyes were mentally already in the locker room and UT Martin took advantage, scoring the last seven points of the half to narrow the OSU to 33-21 as the teams headed to the locker room.
After a slow start to the game, OSU shook off their recent shooting woes and finished the half 46% from the field and 4 of 6 from three point range. Other than the last two minutes of the half, the Buckeyes played excellent defense, limiting the Skyhawks to 21% shooting.
After snapping their three game losing streak with a win against Army on Friday, the Ohio State women’s basketball team headed back out on the road to face the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati came into the game with a 4-4 record that included a bad loss to Northern Kentucky but only a narrow loss to a good Florida State team. The Buckeyes came in with a 7-5 record and were looking to get a winning streak started to get them headed toward Big Ten play on the right foot.
The first half was a tight, back and forth affair that saw frequent lead changes and numerous ties as neither team was able to pull away or really get much of a streak going. With just under five minutes remaining in the half, a steal and layup by Cait Craft gave Ohio State a 21-17 lead; the largest lead of the game at that point. Unfortunately Cincinnati responded by controlling the rest of the half with a 12 to 2 run that put them up 29-23 heading into the break.
After Cincinnati managed to extend their lead to 8 points, 33-25, early in the second half, OSU responded with an 8 to 2 run to make it a two point game just six and a half minutes into the second session. Unfortunately the Buckeyes couldn’t take advantage of their newfound momentum and the Bearcats quickly extended their lead back to six points. A Cait Craft three-pointer made it a three point game but then Cinci went on an 8 to 2 run to give themselves a comfortable 47-38 lead with just over eight minutes remaining on the clock. OSU would never really be able to cut into that lead and Cincinnati coasted down the stretch to a 64-49 win, a margin aided by OSU intentionally fouling in the closing minute.