It was a festive, yuletide feeling contained in the Schottenstein Heart main into Friday night time’s Ohio State girls’s basketball sport. With Christmas music blaring and pretend snow graphics donning the video board, the Buckeyes welcomed UAlbany for the final Ohio State residence sport till New Yr’s Eve. Despite the fact that the Nice Danes gave the house staff a problem, Ohio State wasn’t within the giving spirit, beating the Nice Danes 82-57.
Though the Buckeyes had a constructive consequence, a unfavorable was the continued absence of guard Jacy Sheldon. Throughout pregame warm-ups, Sheldon stood off-court not placing strain on her proper leg, on crutches. In previous video games, the guard wore a smaller boot with out the crutches, a troubling signal for Sheldon who’s at present week-to-week in response to head coach Kevin McGuff.
The Buckeyes had a problem forward of them, towards a College at Albany staff who performs the Princeton offensive system. In different phrases, they play with a variety of off-the-ball motion, a number of on and off-the-ball screens, and work to take advantage of mismatches.
Stepping up early although Friday night time was ahead Cotie McMahon. The Dayton-area freshman scored the primary 9 factors for Ohio State, and 11 within the quarter.
Defensively, a staff that’s struggled in half-court protection this 12 months performed a very good first quarter, forcing six turnovers. A part of these turnovers although was the Nice Danes making poor passes and turning the ball over needlessly. The Scarlet & Grey went into the second quarter up 21-12, however Albany wouldn’t be down for lengthy.
It took virtually three minutes for Ohio State to attain some extent within the second half, As an alternative, Albany created open appears within the halfcourt, and minimize a nine-point deficit right into a three-point lead.
A part of that deficit minimize got here from poor capturing for the house staff. Ohio State missed their first 5 photographs from deep. Mix that with the Nice Danes isolating, hitting photographs, and getting a couple of fortunate bounces and a cushty first quarter was a significantly much less snug second.
Getting the Scarlet & Grey again into the lead was McMahon. After guard Taylor Mikesell hit a game-tying three going into the second-quarter media timeout, McMahon scored the subsequent 5 factors. Going into the locker room with Ohio State up 34-31, McMahon scored 17 factors and had 4 rebounds. She was the distinction for the Buckeyes between going into the third quarter both up or down.
The final time the Buckeyes performed a staff from the America East, Ohio State got here out within the second half and held the New Hampshire Wildcats to seven factors in two quarters. The Scarlet & Grey hoped for one more turnaround towards the Danes.
Whereas the Buckeyes didn’t maintain the Danes to seven second-half factors, they got here out with renewed focus within the second half on protection. Ohio State held UAlbany to 12 factors within the quarter and performed extra sound offense.
It began immediately with McMahon, who appears to have a knack for beginning halves sturdy. The ahead hit a layup, grabbed a steal within the Buckeyes’ offensive zone, and located Mikesell for the layup. All inside 15 seconds.
McMahon began a 3rd quarter the place Ohio State scored 25 factors, and main the way in which was guard Madison Greene. The Pickerington, Ohio native stored calm even because the Scarlet & Grey have been underperforming. Within the quarter she scored seven and added three steals.
Ohio State had bother guarding one participant on UAlbany, Swedish ahead Helene Haegerstrand. The 6-foot-1 playmaker was sturdy within the paint, scoring six of her 21 factors within the third.
Even so, coach McGuff bounced again from a tricky first half and entered the fourth quarter up 59-43, with one quarter left to construct some consistency.
Though she began the sport slowly, Mikesell grew the lead rapidly within the fourth quarter. The guard hit two threes within the first 2:30 of the quarter, plus a quick break layup to get Ohio State right into a extra snug 24-point lead.
From there, Ohio State stored the momentum and replaces starters with bench gamers for the remaining 4 minutes of the sport. A part of that bench was ahead Eboni Walker, who performed extra minutes with ahead Rebeka Mikulášiková having an off night time, scoring 4 factors complete.
Walker had six factors, three rebounds and two steals for her most efficient sport as an upperclassmen switch from Syracuse College.
The Buckeyes pulled away, in the end coming away with a 82-57 victory.
McMahon Tear Continues
For the third sport in a row, the Buckeyes’ highly-ranked freshman recruit had a sport. McMahon bested her profession excessive on offense, scoring 24 factors. They principally got here from making aggressive strikes to the basket and drawing fouls, creating additional level alternatives.
It was an all-around affect although for the ahead. McMahon at all times stayed busy on protection, getting again on to cowl, going after steals on the ground, and protecting area on the court docket together with her velocity.
Quiet Sport for High Scorers
Coming into Friday, Mikesell and Mikulášiková averaged 36.1 mixed factors per sport for the Buckeyes. Towards UAlbany, the 2 couldn’t discover their capturing within the sport. For Mikesell, who made one first-half three, the photographs from past the arc weren’t falling, with one even making a uncommon shot that didn’t contact near the rim, crusing out of bounds.
The 2 had 9 mixed factors on the finish of the third quarter.
As an alternative of a giant sport by two Buckeyes, all 9 gamers received onto the scoresheet. McMahon’s 22 factors have been the outlier in a sport the place everybody had to supply one thing offensively.
The Scarlet and Grey have off till Sunday, once they journey west to San Diego, California. On the schedule are two video games in two days on the San Diego Invitational. Up first, on Dec. 20, is a match-up towards the USF Bulls, at 6:30 p.m. ET.