The Ohio State women’s basketball team finished their regular season schedule with a disappointing 74-57 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers Sunday afternoon.
The Buckeyes (15-17, 5-11) were in constant foul trouble throughout the game, as sophomore guard Cait Craft and redshirt-freshman center Lisa Blair both fouled out while the Gophers (19-11, 8-8) made 25-29 free throw attempts, while the Buckeyes went 10-14.
Blair went scoreless, however recorded five rebounds and four blocks in her first career start as a Buckeye while Craft finished with nine points, two assists and two steals.
OSU played from behind for most of the game, trailing by as many as 21 points with 14:36 remaining in the game before getting as close as 10 with 6:01 left after senior forward Martina Ellerbe hit a 3-pointer to bring the score to 59-49.
Junior guard Maleeka Kynard made her first start of the season in place of sophomore guard Ameryst Alston. Alston came off the bench for just the second time this season after suffering a left shoulder injury in a 65-61 loss at Iowa Feb. 27.
Despite the injury and coming in off the bench, Alston nearly recorded a double-double as she finished with 11 points and nine assists.
The Golden Gophers were led by Big Ten leading scorer junior guard Rachel Banham who scored a game-high 27 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds. The Gophers also received a big game from redshirt-freshman center Amanda Zahui, who finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds as she dominated the OSU centers who combined for just four points and nine rebounds.
The Buckeyes were led in scoring by junior guard Raven Ferguson who totaled 16 points and six rebounds on 6-10 shooting. Ellerbe also made key contributions as she scored 13 points on 5-11 shooting.
The Buckeyes are set to travel to Indianapolis Thursday as they are scheduled to play in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. After earning the No. 8 seed, OSU is schedule to take on No. 9 seed Northwestern at noon.