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.
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 Ohio State women’s basketball team entered day three of the Hall of Fame Challenge as the only undefeated team in the Columbus site after having beaten Old Dominion on Friday and then rallied to beat Marist on Saturday. Less than 24 hours after that thrilling comeback against the Red Foxes, the Buckeyes were back on the court to take on in-state foe Bowling Green.
A Darryce Moore layup opened the scoring but OSU’s lead was short lived as Bowling Green used a pair of three pointers to take an early 8-2 lead. It quickly became apparent that the Falcons were going to use a similar strategy as Marist did and attack the Buckeyes from beyond-the-arc. Unfortunately OSU still struggled to close out on the three point shooters and Bowling Green took advantage of those open looks. To compound problems for Ohio State, the Buckeyes struggled with their own shooting and as a result found themselves down 5 to 7 points for most of the first half before they managed to trim their deficit to 25-21 heading into the locker room. Considering the fact that OSU made only 4 first half field goals on 22 attempts, being down only 4 to a Bowling Green team that was 6 of 12 from beyond the three point line wasn’t too bad.
After Bowling Green stretched their lead to 37-28 just four minutes into the second half, Ohio State responded with seven straight points, bookended by layups by Moore, to pull within two points with fourteen and a half to go. The Falcons responded though with a 12to 0 run of their own to stretch their lead to 49-35 just past the midpoint of the half. The run proved to be a killer and the Buckeyes wouldn’t manage to get close than 8 the rest of the way as Bowling Green coasted to a 64-52 win.
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.
After getting off to a 3-0 start, the Ohio State women’s basketball team faced its toughest test on the season with a trip to #22 Georgia. The Bulldogs made the Elite Eight last season and are replacing several starters but still are a tough team that has become NCAA tournament regulars. Injuries, suspensions, graduations, and a decision to transfer had left Ohio State short handed this season; the Buckeyes haven’t had more than 8 healthy players for any of their games so far. Fortunately things were a bit better today as guard Raven Ferguson returned to the team after serving a three game suspension for violating team rules.
Ohio State got things started the right way, scoring the first seven points in the game and limiting Georgia to only three shot attempts, all misses, in the opening three minutes. The Bulldogs finally got on the board thanks to a free throw that then sparked a 12 to 2 run to give Georgia a 12-9 lead eight minutes into the opening half. The Buckeyes answered right back with back-to-back three pointers from Ameryst Alston followed by a three pointer by Amy Scullion which put OSU back on top 18-12 at the midpoint of the half. The rest of the half would be a tight, back and forth affair with Georgia repeatedly cutting the OSU lead to 1 point. Fortunately the Buckeyes responded each time and went into halftime with a 33-29 lead.
Georgia came out strong to start the second half while the Buckeyes looked flat; OSU failed to score for the first six and a half minutes of the second period while the Bulldogs scored 11 unanswered to take a 40-33 lead. When OSU finally got on the board thanks to a pair of free throws, they then followed those with three pointers by Maleeka Kynard and Scullion as part of an 8 to 3 run that cut the Bulldog lead to 43-41 at the midpoint of the half. Neither team was able to have much luck scoring from that point and with just under a minute and a half remaining in the game, Ohio State found themselves down 53-47. A pair of Ameryst Alston free throws followed by a steal by Kynard seemed to give the Buckeyes a chance but OSU promptly turned the ball over and were forced to foul. The Bulldogs missed the front end of the one-and-one and the Buckeyes grabbed the rebound but were unable to score as Georgia hung on for the 53-49 win.
After an impressive win at West Virginia in their opener and a narrow win at home against Florida Atlantic, the Ohio State women’s basketball team looked to continue their undefeated start to the season today as they hosted Virginia Commonwealth University Thursday night. The already shorthanded Ohio State roster suffered another blow earlier this week as junior guard Shelbi Honeycutt announced her decision to transfer from OSU in order to be closer to home and to get more playing time. Honeycutt is from Siloam Springs, Arkansas so her decision certainly makes sense and we wish her all the best. Honeycutt’s decision left the Buckeyes with nine available players for Thursday night’s game as Raven Ferguson is serving the last game of her three game suspension for violating team rules and Kalpana Beach is out with an ACL injury. While the current roster is small, good news awaits on the horizon as earlier in the day Kevin McGuff and the Buckeyes officially signed five new players (Asia Doss, Alexa Hart, Chelsea Mitchell, Kelsey Mitchell, and Makayla Waterman), four of who are ranked in the top 100 in the country, to a recruiting class that is ranked as high as #2 in the nation. While this new recruiting class promised great things for the future, the Buckeyes still had more pressing business to attend to in the form of the VCU Rams.
The game started out a little sloppy for Ohio State as they missed a few shots and had a pair of turnovers in the first two and half minutes which raised some concerns that the turnover issues that plagued the Buckeyes in the closing minutes against FAU would once again be a problem against a similar, fast paced, guard-heavy VCU team. OSU led 4-2 just over two and half minutes into the game but then things settled down, the Buckeyes started to take better care of the ball and hit their shots to take a 13-4 lead at the first media timeout while hitting 6 of 8 from the field. The Buckeyes extended that lead to 19-6 with eleven and half minutes remaining in the half when they hit what could have been a hiccup as Ameryst Alston picked up her second foul however guard Amy Scullion quickly scored five points to take care of any lost offensive production. After extending their lead to 26-11 with eight minutes remaining in the half, the Buckeyes started having turnover issues which fueled a 7-0 run by VCU. Ohio State recovered though and put together a 14 to 5 run to push the lead to 17 before a Rams’ three-pointer at the buzzer made it 40-26 Buckeyes at the break.
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.