Ohio State and Northwestern opened up the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament this afternoon. The Buckeyes finally prevailed in a tough contest, pulling away in the last two minutes for the final margin, 86-77. Before I get into the particulars, I want to congratulate both teams on a hard fought contest. The 2nd half, especially, was an exciting contest, which really went down to the final few minutes.. Although OSU trailed by 4 at the half (39-35), a 51 point second half blitz proved to be too much for the Wildcats.
Ohio State was led by Ameryst Alston’s 30 points (20 in the 2nd half), and double ‘double-doubles’ by Darryce Moore (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Martina Ellerbe (16 points, 13 rebounds). Truly outstanding performances. Ohio State shot 41% from the field, grabbed 45 rebounds and only turned the ball over 8 times.
Northwestern was led by Maggie Lyon’s 23 points, Lauren Douglas’ 15 points, Karly Roser’s 11 points and Nia Coffey’s 17 points and 11 rebounds. Northwestern shot 40% from the field, had 41 rebounds and turned the ball over 10 times.
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.
Here’s their Profile
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.
Ohio State braved inclimate weather to travel to West Lafayette to grab a win and sweep the season series with Purdue. In their win, Ohio State shot 56% from the field, 64% from 3-point range. In OSU’s win against Purdue on January 2nd, in addition to a scorching offense, they kept the turnovers fairly close, committing 19 to Purdue’s 17.
Things were far different tonight, as a pretty good defensive effort was in vain as the offense turned in an absolutely abysmal offensive performance. Let’s put it this way, when you hold your opponent to 35% FG and force 10 turnovers, and still get beat 74-58, your offense isn’t doing you any favors. This loss drops the Buckeyes to 14-12, 4-6 for the season.
The Buckeyes were led by Ameryst Alston’s 26 points. Raven Ferguson, held to one point in the first half, contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds. Raven’s problem was that she was 3-15 from the field.. Martina Ellerbe had another solid night with 8 points and 8 rebounds. For the game, OSU shot 34.5% from the field, 23.5% from the perimeter and 67 % from the freethrow line. And, the fouls shooting made the difference. Both team were whistled for a similar number of fouls, OSU 19, Purdue 16. While OSU was 14-21 from the line, Purdue was 27-29. The Boilermakers were 20-20 in the 2nd half.
As in the first meeting, Purdue placed five players in double figures: Courtney Moses (18), Liza Clemons (14), April Wilson (12), Whitney Bays (12) and Dee Williams (10). The Boilermakers shot 35.5% from the field, including 27.3% from the perimeter, and 93% from the foul line.
Ohio State trailed at the half 33-24. In the last 6:34 of the half, Purdue went on a 10-5 run due to Ohio State not having a field goal in that stretch; the Buckeyes were 0-7 from the field during that time. Neither team shot well; Ohio State was 32% (8-25) from the field while Purdue was 34% (13-38). From the perimeter, OSU was 1-6 and Purdue was 0-5, so not much good going on there. You may have noticed that Purdue had 13 more FG attempts in the half. Well, that’s because they had 10 offensive rebounds. That is a lot of quality (close to basket) possessions that went in Purdue’s favor. In contrast, Ohio State had 2 offensive boards. The turnover “battle” was won by Purdue; committing only 5 to Ohio State’s 10.
The Buckeyes were led at the half by Ameryst Alston (11 points) on only 3-9 FG’s, but she did make 5-6 free throws. Martina Ellerbe and Ashley Adams had 5 rebounds each. Unfortunately, 6th man Raven Ferguson was as cold as ice, with 1 point at half, going 0-5. Although Purdue’s April Wilson led the team in scoring wit 7 points, Liza Clemons really led them with 6 points and 6 rebounds, 3 boards at each end.
I’m sure that Coach McGuff had a few halftime words, um of encouragement, because in the 2nd half, by the under-16 timeout, OSU had 4 offensive rebounds for the half, doubling their entire 1st half performance. The came out of the locker room much more aggressive in their play.
However, midpoint in the half (9:51 mark), Purdue had outscored Ohio State 18-13, to extend their lead to 14 points, 51-37. At the under-8 timeout, a brief spurt by the Buckeyes closed the gap to 10 points, 53-43. Basket-trading then took place, and at the 2:19 point, OSU trailed 65-53.
McGuff better have his team work on some hooting drills, because their next opponent will be a still challenge. The Buckeyes’ next game is Sunday, February 9th as they host Penn State. In their first meeting, PSU won 66-42 (OSU’s lowest offensive output for the season, as OSU shot 30% from the field. Tip-off is 2:00 PM EST with television coverage provided by ESPN2.
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.