The Ohio State women’s basketball team found a way to move on after a Valentine’s Day letdown.
The Buckeyes stomped on the Purdue Boilermakers, 92-60, Tuesday night after losing to Illinois on Saturday.
“They were hungry after the loss to Illinois,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “Sometimes when you lose, you can come out and really get after a team, and that’s what they did to us today.”
OSU dealt the Boilermakers a loss for the second time this season to make it three wins in its past four games.
“We did not have energy against Illinois,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “It was great to bounce back tonight.”
Last time the two teams met, it was the Kelsey Mitchell show as the freshman guard took hold of the game with 37 points. Showing a multi-dimensional offensive attack on Tuesday, the Buckeyes came out on fire and showed a different side of their expanding repertoire of scorers.
“We played like the Ohio State Buckeyes that we are used to being,” Mitchell said. “We are satisfied with how we played today.”
Junior guard Ameryst Alston led the team with 26 points and a season-high eight assists. Freshman forward Alexa Hart followed Alston with 19 points of her own. A seemingly one-dimensional team the first-time around, the Buckeyes found ways to fire on all cylinders and Purdue could not keep up.
“We had contributions from everybody,” McGuff said. “Everybody was good and that’s when we are obviously at our best.”
Purdue was in the game for the first seven minutes before Buckeye runs of 12-2 and 16-0 allowed OSU to pull a significant 23-point lead headed into halftime. Their 52 first-half points were the highest the Buckeyes had scored in one half since Nov. 23 against Virginia Commonwealth University.
“We played with great pace,” McGuff said. “We were also moving the ball better, something we have not done well in recent games.”
The high-caliber play continued in the second half as OSU never looked back and showed no mercy in continuing to pressure the Boilermakers until the final whistle.
The Buckeyes are three games away from the end of regular season play and for the first time in a couple years, will end the Big Ten season with a winning record in league play.
“Ohio State has not been on the map, so to speak,” Alston said. “It’s definitely exciting.”
McGuff said he believes the key to being successful in the post-season is to be playing your best basketball at the end of February.
“Teams that continue to improve at this point in the year are the ones that do the best in March,” McGuff said.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the court against Iowa on Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.