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.
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.
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The Ohio State Buckeyes (14-13, 4-7) will try to stop a 3 game slide by going to the Breslin Center on Saturday to take on the Michigan State Spartans (16-8, 8-3). Ohio State will try to get out of their recent shooting funk while throwing a defensive net on a high scoring Spartan backcourt. MSU win try to get back on track after a tough loss in Lincoln, NE.
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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 Buckeyes (14-10, 4-4) trek to the challenging environment of The Kohl Center to square off against the Wisconsin Badgers (9-11, 2-6) a day after the men’s team made the same trip. The Buckeyes are coming off a blistering of Illinois 90-64 while the Badgers lost a close game to the Spartans 71-67.
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