Ohio State Gets The Kevin McGuff Era Started Properly

Written November 9th, 2013 by Charles

A beautiful sight, Kevin McGuff with the gameball from his first win at OSU.

A beautiful sight, Kevin McGuff with the gameball from his first win at OSU.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team officially opened the Kevin McGuff era on Friday with a trip to West Virginia.  While most teams from major conferences tend to open the season at home against patsies, the Buckeyes opened their season with a challenging trip to face a team that made the NCAA tournament last season.  As if having to replace their top two players from last season didn’t add enough extra challenge to the trip, OSU was without the services of a trio of junior guards:  Raven Ferguson who is serving a three game suspension for violating team rules, Maleeka Kynard who has an injured left ankle, and Shelbi Honeycutt who was ill.  This required the shuffling of the starting lineup from the exhibition game and the Buckeyes started guards Ameryst Alston, Cait Craft, and Amy Scullion and centers Ashley Adams and Darryce Moore.

Ohio State drew first blood with an Ameryst Alston jumper thirteen seconds into a first half that proved to a tight battle where neither team managed to lead by more than 5 points.  The Buckeyes faced their biggest deficit of the half, down 20-23 just past the midpoint of the half but a three-pointer by Martina Ellerbe quickly knotted things back up.  The Mountaineers pulled back ahead 27-28 with six minutes left in the half but Alston and Ellerbe each hit a pair of free throws and a three pointer to key a 10 to 4 run that gave OSU a 37-32 lead in the biggest score difference of the half.  West Virginia came back and cut the Buckeye lead to one and the teams went into the locker room with Ohio State up 41-40.

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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 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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Tayler Hill scored in double figures for the 54th straight game but that wasn't enough to overcome Nebraska.

Tayler Hill scored in double figures for the 54th straight game but that wasn’t enough to overcome Nebraska.

After finally getting their first Big Ten win two weeks ago, Ohio State has lost two straight.  The first loss was to hapless Wisconsin while the second was to a top 10 Penn State squad; the common aspect of both losses was disastrous second half collapses where the normally hot shooting Buckeyes couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.  OSU’s 11-9 overall, 1-6 Big Ten, record made this game a must win if the Buckeyes want to make the NCAA tournament.  The importance of this game was not lost on Coach Foster who tinkered with his starting lineup, inserting Maleeka Kynard and Aleksandra Dobranic into the lineup next to Tayler Hill, Ameryst Alston, and Ashley Adams.

In another new twist, Ohio State opened in a zone defense struggled to match-up well on the perimeter and Nebraska took advantage by hitting a quick trio of three pointers to take an 11-4 lead six and a half minutes into the game.  The Buckeyes responded though, capitalizing on some Nebraska turnovers to score 7 straight points, tying the game at 11 midway through the first half.  The two teams would go back and forth for the next several minutes before the Cornhuskers went on 10-0 run to take a 34-21 lead with eighteen seconds remaining in the half.  Tayler Hill would convert an old fashioned three point play in the closing sections to trim the Nebraska lead to 34-24 as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

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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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Ohio State Cruises to an Easy 73-50 Win Over Southern

Written December 21st, 2012 by Charles

Stokes was perfect from the floor

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is a popular holiday song and after a two game road trip to the state of Washington, the Ohio State women’s basketball team listened to the title of that song and returned home for a three game stretch to wrap-up the non-conference portion of the schedule.  The Buckeyes kicked off the home stand today by hosting Southern University who came into this game looking for their second win of the year.

Ohio State got off to a hot start as Tayler Hill hit a pair of three pointers in the opening minute and center/forward Aleksandra Dobranic added four points to give the Buckeyes a quick 10-2 lead with just over two minutes off of the clock.  While most people thought of Southern as just a sacrificial lamb, the Jaguars didn’t view themselves that way and they took advantage of some missed shots by the Buckeyes to go on a 9 to 2 run to make it a 12-11 game with just under fourteen minutes left in the half.  After trading baskets for a couple minutes, OSU decided that they had enough of letting Southern hang around, going on a 20-3 run to blow the game open and take a 38-18 lead with two minutes left until intermission.  The dominance of that run was made even more impressive by the fact that key contributions came from off the bench as Maleeka Kynard and Raven Ferguson accounted for 6 and 5 of those points, respectively.�� The Jaguars would close out the half on a 6 to 2 run but the two teams went into the locker room with Ohio State holding a comfortable 40-24 lead.

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OSU Wins Blowout Over Wright State 82-52

Written November 25th, 2012 by Charles

Cait Craft, sister of Aaron Craft, made her Buckeye debut as OSU rolled over Wright State.

While Buckeye Nation was still celebrating the football team’s big win over Michigan, the #16 Ohio State women’s basketball team had to get back to work as they took on Wright State today.  Center Ashley Adams returned to the starting lineup today despite practicing sparingly since a quadriceps injury forced her to miss OSU’s game against St. Francis on Tuesday.  Adams wasn’t the only Buckeye returning from injury as freshman guard Cait Craft was finally cleared to play after suffering a concussion in practice before the season started.

Ohio State got off to a fast start as Raven Ferguson hit a three-pointer on the first trip down the floor, keying a 9 to 0 Buckeye run to start the game.  After exchanging baskets with Wright State briefly, OSU went on another run of 9 unanswered to go up 22-4 just eight minutes into the game.  The two teams would trade baskets for the rest of the half with the Raiders at one point pulling within 11.  That didn’t last long and the two teams went into the locker room for halftime with the Buckeyes leading 42-25.

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#11 Ohio State Opens Big Ten Play 77-61 Over Wisconsin

Written December 30th, 2011 by Charles

Pressue like this could not stop Samantha Prahalis from posting a double-double.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team went undefeated through the non-conference portion of their schedule to get off to the best start in program history. Getting off to a start like that is always impressive but it is even more impressive as the achievement is even more impressive as the Buckeyes did it against a difficult schedule while adjusting to the graduation of the most prolific scorer and rebounder in program history. After a week off for Christmas, the Buckeyes returned to action tonight, opening the Big Ten portion of their schedule with a trip to Madison.

Ohio State jumped out a quick 5-0 lead but Wisconsin quickly tied the game with a pair of baskets. The Buckeyes responded by scoring seven unanswered to open up a 12-5 lead four minutes into the game. The fast pace of the game continued as the two teams began trading baskets with the Badgers slowly chipping away at the Buckeye lead before taking a 27-26 lead with five minutes remaining in the half. Ohio State took the lead right back thanks to a Tayler Hill three-pointer which ignited an 8 to 0 run that gave the Buckeyes a 34-27 lead. Wisconsin was not impressed though as they came right back with a 10 to 2 run to take a 37-36 lead with under a minute to go before halftime. A pair of free throws by freshman Maleeka Kynard gave Ohio State back the lead, 38-37, which is where the score stood as the two teams went into the locker room.

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