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.
The Ohio State women’s basketball team traveled to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers in the final game of the 2013-2014 regular season. After falling just short of a road upset against #25 Iowa, the Buckeyes came into this game with a 15-16 (5-10) record and in need of a win to help their slim hopes of making the WNIT.
Ohio State scored the first four points of the game and lead 9-8 after a three pointer by Cait Craft just over five minutes into the game only Minnesota score 7 straight over the next two minutes to take a 16-9 lead. The Buckeyes would trim the Gopher lead to 3, 18-15, but then went cold from the field while Gophers went on a 14 to 1 run to go up 32-16 with two and a half minutes to go in the half and the teams would go into halftime with Ohio State trailing 35-21.
Ohio State didn’t play much better at the start of the second half and Minnesota took advantage to extend their lead to 20, 43-23, under four minutes into the second period. The Buckeyes finally began knocking down shots at that point and slowly chipped away at the Golden Gopher lead, pulling within 10, 63-53, with five minutes remaining in the game. A 7 to 2 run by the Gophers over the next three minutes would extinguish the Buckeye hopes of an upset as Minnesota coasted the rest of the way to a 74-57 win.
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 dominating Illinois in their best offensive game of the year, the Ohio State (14-10, 4-4) women’s basketball team traveled to Madison looking to put together their first set of back-to-back wins in the Big Ten this season and to get above .500 in conference play. Wisconsin (9-11, 2-6) had struggled for much of the season but had given Michigan State a scare in East Lansing on Thursday in a 71-67 loss.
Neither team got off to a good start offensively. A free throw and then a layup by Darryce Moore gave Ohio State an early lead but then pretty much anything resembling offense disappeared as both teams struggled to make a basket. A three pointer by Wisconsin tied the game three and a half minutes into the game. The Buckeyes take a 5-3 and a 7-5 lead over the next two minutes but then the Badgers got their offense going and scored 10 straight points to take a 15-7 lead eight minutes into the game. A Raven Ferguson layup finally broke the Wisconsin run but Ohio State couldn’t get an closer than six before the Badgers scored 6 unanswered to stretch their lead to 23-11 just past the midpoint of the half. A timeout by Kevin McGuff seemed to get things going for the Buckeyes who quickly got four points to cut the lead back to single digits only to see the Badgers push it back to double digits, 30-17 with five minutes to go in the half. The OSU offense showed some improvement in the final three minutes of the half and managed to trim the Wisconsin lead to 36-28 as the buzzer sounded.
Shooting was the big difference in the first half as Ohio State struggled with their shooting and even with improvement in the closing minutes of the half, the Buckeyes only shot 36% from the field while going 1 of 7 from three point range. Meanwhile Wisconsin was hard to stop at times as the Badgers shot 43% from the field while going 3 of 9 from outside. A major surprise for the Buckeyes was that Ameryst Alston, who leads the team in scoring on the season, was limited to only four points in the first half.
The Ohio State men’s basketball team wasn’t the only Buckeye squad looking to end a losing streak tonight. The OSU women’s basketball team came into tonight on a two game losing streak and were looking to break that as they traveled to Ann Arbor to face rival Michigan. The game was even more meaningful as the Buckeyes were looking for revenge after losing to the Wolverines in Columbus earlier in the month.
Neither team started out shooting well in the game and points were difficult to come by early on; at the midpoint of the first Ohio State led 8-7. The Buckeyes managed to get the offense going a little better over the next three minutes as they used an 8 to 1 run to open up a 16-8 lead with just over six minutes remaining. The two teams then traded baskets and with three and a half minutes remaining OSU held up 21-15. Unfortunately, the Buckeye offense hit a wall at that point and didn’t score the rest of the half while Michigan closed with 11 straight points and the Wolverines headed into the locker room with a 26-21 lead. Ohio State shot atrociously in the first half, going 29% from the field and 22% from three point range. Fortunately, Michigan didn’t shoot much better going 33% from the field and 20% from beyond-the-arc.
Michigan hit a layup to open the scoring in the second half but Ohio State responded with a 10 to 3 run to tie the game at 31 six minutes into the second period. The Wolverines quickly fired back, outscoring the Buckeyes 9 to 2 over the next two and a half minutes to retake a 40-33 lead. Ashley Adams and Raven Ferguson weren’t impressed by the Michigan run though and teamed up on the next three baskets with Ferguson hitting a jumper sandwiched between assisting on layups by Adams. The baskets by Ferguson and Adams sparked the rest of the Buckeyes and ignited a 17 to 2 run that put Ohio State up 50-42 with five minutes remaining in the game. That run pretty much broke Michigan’s spirits and the Wolverines would never get closer as Ohio State cruised the rest of the way to a 61-50 win.
After a poor shooting performance in a disappointing loss to rival Michigan, the exciting promise of the Ohio State women’s basketball team’s Big Ten opening upset of Purdue was highly muted. With the Buckeyes heading to Bloomington to face a 22nd ranked Indiana team that entered the game 14-0, things didn’t look terribly promising for OSU’s hopes of turning things around.
The game got off to a competitive start with both teams trading baskets but after almost seven minutes Ohio State held a 12-10 lead. Excellent OSU shooting over the next four minutes led to 8 unanswered points which stretched the lead to 20-10. The Hoosiers cut the lead to 7 over the next couple minutes but the Buckeyes responded with a 13 to 5 run to open up a 38-23 lead with two minutes remaining in the first half. Indiana responded with increased intensity and closed the half on a 6 to 1 run to trim the OSU lead to 39-29 at the break.
The second half opened like the first with both teams trading baskets. With the Buckeyes up 9, back-to-back baskets by Ameryst Alston keyed a 10 to 0 run that extended the OSU lead to 56-37 with just under eleven minutes remaining. Indiana wasn’t impressed and responded with 11 straight points of their own over the next three minutes to make it an eight point game. Suddenly all the momentum belonged to the Hoosiers and they were in reach of the lead. This time it was Raven Ferguson who hit back-to-back baskets to ignite a run of 10 straight points to give the Buckeyes a comfortable 66-48 lead with just under five minutes remaining. The Hoosiers couldn’t respond and would only score three more points the rest of the game, giving them only 3 points over the last eight and a half minutes, as Ohio State pulled off the 70-51 upset win.
The Buckeyes kicked off their B1G schedule with a tall order in the #17th ranked Boilermakers of Purdue. Cait Craft, Ameryst Alston, Darryce Moore, Martina Ellerbe and Amy Scullion got the start and they didn’t disappoint the Buckeye faithful in attendance in the first half.
Craft kept her hot streak of three’s on the season going and put the Buckeyes up 5-2 early with her first of the night, the 22nd of her young season.Ellerbe took over midway through the first half connecting on two of two from three point land and put up 8 points early.
The Buckeyes were trailing at the under eight media time-out but Darryce Moore was getting red-hot on the boards with five already to go with six points. The Buckeyes were dominating the boards in the first half. They finished the half only down two 39-37 and riding on the shooting of Ellerbe who finished with ten points at half. Buckeyes killing it on the boards 22-15(9 offensive).
Ellerbe continued her onslaught in the second half and took the Buckeyes on a tear with 16 points, that turned into a great run and the Buckeyes were up 59-50 at the 12:06 mark forcing a Boilermaker timeout and continuing to shoot lights out from the floor and the free throw line. Buckeyes hit their 7th three just prior to the under eight timeout and stay on top 67-54.
KK Houser for the Boilermakers was on fire the entire game and near unstoppable. After trading shots on both ends and hitting back to back threes for the boilers, the Buckeyes answered and Craft(15), Ellerbe(19), Moore(14), and Alston(12) all in double digits scoring leading the way. Buckeyes head to under four media timeout with biggest lead of the night 80-64.
Things turned a little sloppy down the stretch, but Purdue couldn’t hit some free throws and headed into the final minute still down by ten to the upstart Buckeyes at home in the Schott. Adams became the fifth player in double digits with an easy lay-in at the fifty second mark of the game.
The 17th ranked Boilers put up a fight behind 26 from KK Houser, 16 by Whitney Bays and 13 by Courtney Moses but couldn’t keep up with the hot shooting and great rebounding by the Buckeyes on the night. It’s a great win at home for Coach McGuff and staff and served notice the Buckeyes aren’t going away without a fight.
The Buckeyes win the game 89-78 behind 19 a piece from Ellerbe and Alston, 15 from Craft, 14 from Moore and 10 from Adams. The Buckeyes out-rebounded the Boilers 34-14(unofficial) and had 8 more assists on the night 18-10. Raven Ferguson came off the bench to almost score in double digits with 8 points to go with 5 rebounds and 6 assists which was the game high for all players.
After a rough stretch in December losing 4 of 5 to some pretty tough talent. the Buckeyes appear prepared for their tough conference slate and take on the Wolverines this Sunday in the Schott, tip-off is at 5p.m.
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.