Recovering from its first loss of the season, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s basketball team dominated in the paint, landing itself an 87-55 victory over South Carolina Upstate on Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center.
Before the game, Upstate Spartans coach Tammy George said she planned to “make (OSU) beat us from the outside.”
But George’s strategy didn’t go as according to plan, as the Buckeyes (8-1) had no trouble racking up points in the paint. Freshman Ashley Adams and seniors Sarah Schulze and Jantel Lavender helped lead the Buckeyes to a 58-28 scoring advantage. Lavender scored a game-high 33 points and earned her sixth double-double of the year.
Lavender is “a great player,” George said. “Ohio State is very good. They lived up to their billing.”
OSU held the lead from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer. All 12 players on the Buckeyes’ roster played in the game, and nearly every one of them earned the team points.
“It’s great as we head down the road,” said OSU coach Jim Foster, referring to every Buckeye getting playing time in the game. “We have some versatility.”
The win over Upstate was sandwiched between the loss to unranked Syracuse on Dec. 11 and the highly anticipated matchup against No. 1 University of Connecticut on Dec. 19 at Madison Square Garden.
Though the Buckeyes have a tough match ahead of them, Foster said the team’s focus is always on the match at hand.
“Winning is always important,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who’s next.”
“It’s easy to stay focused,” she said. UCONN “is just another team on the schedule.”