It was a long time coming for the No. 7 Ohio State women’s basketball team to earn a victory in Iowa City, Iowa, having not won a single contest at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since 2008.
On Thursday night, OSU (20-4, 12-1) and the Iowa Hawkeyes (15-10, 5-8) met for the first time this season, and the Buckeyes were able to break the Iowa curse, pulling off their 20th victory 98-81.
Before heading to the airport Wednesday evening, coach Kevin McGuff of the Buckeyes could not stress on the scoring abilities of Hawkeye’s junior guard Ally Disterhoft enough, and he was not joking.
In the first 20 minutes of action, Disterhoft went 6-for-8 from the field, finishing the half with 13 points. Her first step off the dribble was sometimes too fast for Buckeye defenders, giving her a clear path to the rim on numerous occasions.
Two of Iowa’s offensive threats, sophomore guard Chase Coley and freshman guard Megan Gustafson, went into foul trouble early, giving Disterhoft no choice but to put the team on her back.
It was apparent, however, that the prolific scoring from Disterhoft was not enough to make the score close.
With each player who checked into the game for OSU scoring at least one bucket in the first half, the Buckeyes were able to go into the break ahead with a comfortable 50-39 lead.
For the Scarlet and Gray, they were led by none other than sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell, who put in 14 points prior to the break, knocking down a couple of 3-pointers.
Junior forward Shayla Cooper was Mitchell’s partner in crime in the first two quarters of play, providing a quick spark off the bench. Cooper netted 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in the 13 minutes that she played in the first half.
As has been a trend throughout the season, the Buckeyes turned it up a notch in the second half, led by senior guard Ameryst Alston, who eclipsed the 2,000-point career mark with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter. She is the sixth person in program history to accomplish this feat.
She would go on to finish the game with 18 points and dished out six assists.
With the pressure that OSU was providing, forcing 15 total turnovers, it had no problem creating productive offensive production off its defensive stops.
Five of the Buckeyes finished the game in double-figure scoring, as the Hawkeyes couldn’t figure out which player to focus on.
Both Mitchell and Cooper finished with 20 points, with OSU sophomore forward Alexa Hart and sophomore guard Asia Doss scoring 13 and 12, respectively.
Doss was also able to tally a career-high assist total, dishing out seven dimes by the final buzzer.
Iowa’s scoring in the second half was a lot more diverse, as it had five players score above 10 points as well. Even so, Disterhoft continued to lead the way, concluding with 20 points.
Coley, who fouled out, ended her night with 12 points, while Gustafson earned a double-double, scoring 13 points and snatching 12 rebounds.
Junior Alexa Kastanek for the Hawkeyes was red-hot from behind the arc, going 4-of-6 and scoring 15 points. The guard was the sole Hawkeye to convert from 3-point land.
The Buckeyes, now on an eight-game winning streak, will travel back to Columbus in between their next game, which is set to take place in State College, Pennsylvania, against Penn State on Sunday. The match is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m.