Tim Kubick / For the Lantern
Ohio State women’s basketball returned to its winning form this weekend in a big way.
After suffering a loss at North Carolina Wednesday, the Buckeyes rebounded against Evansville on Saturday at the Schottenstein Center, defeating the Purple Aces 78-33.
The 45-point victory was the largest of the season for OSU, and every member of the team scored in the game. The Buckeyes also held the visitors to 10 second-half points.
OSU senior guard Tayler Hill had 20 points and junior center Ashley Adams accounted for 14 points.
“We refocused the last couple of days in practice,” Hill said. “Coming off the loss, there were some things we could have done differently. We focused on those in the game today.”
The Buckeyes knew they had to be strong defensively to get another win, and using Hill on defense seemed to be the key.
“I wanted Tayler Hill away from the ball more,” said OSU coach Jim Foster. “I like the defensive mentality of our group.”
In order to keep Hill off the ball, Foster started freshman guard Ameryst Alston. The move paid off.
“(Alston) is very confident, and I like players who go out and get after it,” Foster said. “In this day, there are a lot of players who are anointed starters, and I felt like she earned it.”
Alston said she wasn’t overwhelmed in her first start.
“We are much more effective when Tayler is able to run and I can get the ball up to her. My job is to get the ball up to the offense,” Alston said.
Strong defense seemed to carry this team throughout the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half. Not only did the Buckeyes hold Evansville to only 10 points the entire second half, OSU also posted a 23-0 run for the first 11:46 of the half.
Hill said she hopes the defensive strength carries the team forward.
“We had excellent energy today, and we didn’t give up a play,” Hill said.
With more than a week off to practice for finals before their next game, the Buckeyes have their 27th consecutive home game win to motivate them.
Foster hopes this defensive success brings more huge wins in the near future.
“Defense is an important dimension to the team,” Foster said. “I like players who are comfortable with their knees bent in the defensive position.”
The Buckeyes will continue non-conference regular season play against Lafayette on Sunday at the Schottenstein Center with a scheduled 1 p.m. tip-off.