The Cinderella run for the Ohio State women’s basketball team ended as it fell in the semifinal game in the Big Ten Tournament to the Iowa Hawkeyes 77-73.
Despite outscoring the Hawkeyes (26-8, 11-5) 46-20 in the paint, the Buckeyes were in constant foul trouble as sophomore guard Ameryst Alston, junior guard Raven Ferguson and senior center Ashley Adams all played a large part of the second half with at least four fouls. Ferguson, who finished with nine points, fouled out with just more than four minutes to play in the game.
Although they trailed the entire game, the Buckeyes (17-18, 7-11) had a chance take the lead with just 10 seconds remaining when they were down by two. Senior forward Martina Ellerbe fired a 3-point shot that missed and ricocheted out of bounds, sealing the victory for the Hawkeyes. Ellerbe finished with 15 points and nine rebounds in what was likely her final game as a Buckeye.
After tallying back-to-back 30-point performances, Alston finished with a team-high 20 points in the loss.
The Hawkeyes were led by redshirt-senior guard Theairra Taylor, who scored a game-high 21, a feat she also accomplished against the Buckeyes in a 65-61 win Feb. 27 in Iowa City.
The loss likely means the end of a tough season for first-year coach Kevin McGuff and his team, who close out the 2013-14 campaign at 17-18. It caps the first losing season for the Buckeyes since finishing 14-15 during the 2001-02 season.
The Buckeyes have a lot to look forward to in the 2014-15 season however, as they are set to return three of their top scorers in Alston, Ferguson and sophomore guard Cait Craft. McGuff has also signed a top-10 recruiting class, according to ESPN, as well as adding transfer guard Kianna Holland from Duke and forward Shayla Cooper from Georgetown. Both Holland and Cooper will be eligible to play following the conclusion of OSU’s Fall Semester 2014 according to a press release.