Ohio State Suffers First Loss of Season 53-49 to Georgia

Written November 17th, 2013 by Charles

The Buckeye defense kept them in the game but wasn't enough to secure the win.

The Buckeye defense kept them in the game but wasn’t enough to secure the win.

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.

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Ohio State Survives Scare From VCU

Written November 15th, 2013 by Charles

Darryce Moore scored a career high 20 points to help lead the Buckeyes to a victory over VCU.

Darryce Moore scored a career high 20 points to help lead the Buckeyes to a victory over VCU.

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.

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Ohio State Defeathers FAU Owls 91-88

Written November 11th, 2013 by Ken

McGuff explains how this works..

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.

Ohio State Women’s Basketball Season Preview

Written November 5th, 2013 by Charles

teamThe 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.

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Ohio State Scores Big Road Win Over Illinois 64-53

Written February 28th, 2013 by Charles
Tayler Hill scored 18 of her 21 points in the second half to lead Ohio State over Illinois.

Tayler Hill scored 18 of her 21 points in the second half to lead Ohio State over Illinois.

Coming off one of their best team games of the year in Monday’s win over Michigan State, the Ohio State women’s basketball team looked to build some momentum with tonight’s game at Illinois.  This was the last road game of the year for the Buckeyes, which must come as a relief to a team that has really struggled on the road over the past two seasons.  Those road struggles also meant that this game was really important for OSU, not only as it would tell us if the good performance against Sparty was indicative of things to come or was just a mere blip but also because a road win would greatly help the Buckeyes’ case to sneak into the NCAA tournament.

The game started out as a back and forth affair which resulted in the game being tied at 9 seven minutes into the game.  The importance of this game for the postseason hopes of both teams was apparently early as both teams played energetic defense but also had moments of sloppy play on offense which led to turnovers.  After a good shooting start by Ohio State, their shooting went cold and Illinois took advantage to go on a 7 to 2 run to take a 16-11 lead with eight minutes remaining in the half.  The Buckeyes responded though, scoring six straight to take a 17-16 lead just over six minutes on the clock.  The lead bounced back and forth for a couple minutes before OSU went on an 8 to 2 run to take a 27-22 lead with two and a half minutes remaining.   The two teams would trade baskets the rest of the way and when the buzzer sounded for halftime Ohio State had a 31-26 lead.

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Ohio State Extends Streak With 59-52 Win Over Northwestern

Written February 10th, 2013 by Charles
Tayler Hill's game high 26 points and 6 steals led the Buckeyes to victory at Northwestern.

Tayler Hill’s game high 26 points and 6 steals led the Buckeyes to victory at Northwestern.

Ohio State traveled to Northwestern riding their first Big Ten winning streak of the season after beating Indiana and Wisconsin.  The Buckeyes made a change to the starting lineup for this one as Amber Stokes returned to the lineup, replacing Maleeka Kynard.  Stokes had missed several games back in January due to an injury and then had come off the bench to great effect in the past few games.

Ohio State opened the game cold and Northwestern took advantage to score the game first six points.  OSU responded though by attacking the paint and went on a 9 to 1 run to take a 9-7 lead with thirteen and a half minutes remaining in the half.  Four straight points by the Wildcats gave them back the lead and the two teams began to trade baskets for the next six minutes with neither team able to build more than a three point lead.    Northwestern led 19-18 with six minutes to go in the half when Ohio State went on a run, scoring 13 straight to take a 31-19 lead with two minutes left on the clock.  The run was made in part by a series of fouls by the Wildcats which sent the Buckeyes to the line and several Northwestern starters to the bench with foul trouble, forcing the Wildcats to go to their rather thin bench.  The Wildcats weren’t done though, closing the half on a 7 to 2 run to cut the OSU lead to 33-26 as the two teams headed to the locker rooms.

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Loss To Wisconsin Puts Ohio State’s Season In Jeopardy

Written January 20th, 2013 by Charles
Wisconsin's Morgan Paige gave Ohio State nightmares in their loss to the Badgers.

Wisconsin’s Morgan Paige gave Ohio State nightmares in their loss to the Badgers.

After getting their first Big Ten win of the year against Indiana, the Ohio State women’s basketball team knew that they couldn’t relax heading into today’s game against Wisconsin.  Even though the Badgers came into this game as one of the two teams in the Big Ten that still didn’t have a conference win, the game would be in Madison and road wins are always tough to come by in the conference and the Buckeyes had a big hole still to dig out of after losing their first four conference games.

Ohio State got off to a good start, scoring the first seven points of the game on the way to taking an early 10-2 lead.  Wisconsin quickly responded though, scoring 9 straight points, helped in part by a pair of costly Buckeye fouls, to take an 11-10 lead about eight minutes into the game.  After exchanging a few baskets with the Badgers, the Buckeyes took advantage of three pointers by Cait Craft and Raven Ferguson to score 10 unanswered and retake a 23-14 lead with six minutes left in the half.  Wisconsin wasn’t impressed though, putting together a 7 to 2 run to cut the lead to 25-21.  OSU would quickly extend the lead to eight but the Badgers took advantage of two Buckeye fouls in the closing minute to cut the OSU lead to 29-25 as the half ended.

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Ohio State Beats Indiana For First Big Ten Win

Written January 17th, 2013 by Charles

Tayler Hill looked good in returning to action after an illness, leading OSU to their first Big Ten win of the year.

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.

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