Inconsistency rarely leads to wins and the Ohio State women’s basketball team is learning that the hard way.
The Buckeyes (13-10, 3-4), fell at home to Michigan State Sunday, 82-68, for the their third loss in four games.
Hopes were high for the OSU against the Spartans, especially coming off a 61-50 win against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thursday, but despite jumping out to an early 9-2 advantage, OSU could not hold the lead.
The Spartans altered OSU’s shots on the basket all game and blocked a resounding 11 Buckeye shot attempts, seven by MSU redshirt-junior center Madison Williams alone.
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, only recorded one blocked shot in the game.
Williams, who did not play in the Spartans’ previous game because of a nagging knee injury, played a career-high 19 minutes, much to the delight of MSU coach Suzy Merchant.
“Best game and most minutes she has ever played,” Merchant said about her backup center. “She is such a difference maker.”
OSU coach Kevin McGuff acknowledged Williams’ presence in the paint as well.
“She certainly did a great job defensively around the basket,” McGuff said. “We did not handle it well mentally.”
OSU senior centers Ashley Adams and Darryce Moore combined for just eight points on 3-13 shooting, with Adams failing to tally a single point.
MSU freshman guard Tori Jankoska led all scorers and tied a career-high with 25 points on 7-13 shooting.
Jankoska started in place of junior guard Kiana Johnson, who did not make the trip to Columbus because of personal reasons. It was Jankoska’s fourth career start.
“I thought Tori and (senior guard) Klarissa (Bell) did a great job considering the circumstances,” Merchant said of her guards’ play.
The Buckeyes were led offensively by junior guard Raven Ferguson, who scored a career-high 20 points off the bench in the loss.
OSU sophomore guard Ameryst Alston, who leads the Buckeyes in scoring on the season with an average 16.8 points, scored 16 in the loss, but said Ferguson is just as capable as a scorer.
“She can do this any game that she wants to,” Alston said of her teammate’s career day.
Alston, who only went to the free throw line three times throughout the game despite attempting a game-high 18 shots, was not shy in voicing her displeasure with the officiating.
“We do not care how big or tough you are,” Alston said on OSU’s game plan to attack the basket. “We did not get those calls at all.”
The Buckeyes hope to get back on track when they take on Illinois (9-10, 2-4), scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.