A buzzer-beating three-pointer from redshirt sophomore forward Sierra Calhoun sent Ohio State and Miami into overtime and the Schottenstein Center into a frenzy, but the No. 9 Buckeyes couldn’t outlast the No. 18 Hurricanes in overtime on Thursday evening.
It took extra time to declare a winner, but OSU might have lost the game in the second quarter. After the Buckeyes outscored the Hurricanes 22-17 in the first quarter, things took an ugly turn in the following frame.
OSU turned the ball over nine times and missed its first eight shots in the quarter. OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell’s three-pointer with 3:38 remaining — OSU’s first successful three after starting 0 for 10 from beyond the arc — served as the Buckeyes’ first made field goal of the quarter. The Buckeyes were just 2-for-12 from the field in the second quarter and were outscored 24-8.
“That’s as bad a quarter as I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “I think we got a little tired mentally and we didn’t have the ability to push through.”
The Buckeyes were noticeably rattled after starting the quarter with a string of turnovers. Miami had its way with the OSU defense, and when the Buckeyes had the ball, they couldn’t get anything inside and were forced to settle for long jumpers.
“It was bad offense, defense, you name it,” McGuff said. “You had five people out there kind of trying to do it on their own … and when that happens, you see the results.”
Down by a score of 41-30 to start the second half, OSU fought its way back in the third quarter by shooting a ridiculous 78.6 percent (11-for-14) from the field. The Buckeyes were down 55-46 with 3:13 remaining in the quarter before scoring 10 points in the next 1:58 to take a one-point lead.
“We came out of the locker room with the right focus and energy,” McGuff said.
The remaining minutes of the third quarter and the entire fourth featured back-and-forth scoring. With OSU trailing 82-81 with just nine seconds remaining, Mitchell carried the ball up the court looking to give the Buckeyes the win.
Mitchell passed the half-court line and heaved up a long three-pointer with nearly five seconds left, attempting to draw a foul in the process. The ball sailed out of bounds and no foul was called, giving Miami the ball back.
Following a pair of free throws for the Hurricanes, OSU senior forward Shayla Cooper fired an in-bounds pass down the court to junior forward Alexa Hart, who flipped it over to Calhoun for the game-tying three.
In the five-minute overtime period, Miami outscored the Buckeyes 10-5 to claim the victory.
“It was a great basketball game,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “No one should feel bad; both teams should celebrate how hard they played.”
The Hurricanes were led by a career-high 23 points from redshirt senior forward Keyona Hayes, who shot 9-for-14 from the field. Senior guard Jessica Thomas added 16 points and sophomore guard Laura Cornelius put up 11 points.
OSU was again led by Mitchell, who scored 29 points on a 9-of-21 night from the field. Cooper contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds, and both Hart and freshman guard Kiara Lewis added 11 points.
Redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga, a usual starter for the Buckeyes, did not play. McGuff said that Mavunga is sore and that the decision was made with her long-term health in mind.
Turnovers kill Buckeyes
OSU turned the ball over just once in the first quarter before its nine-turnover second and finished the game with 17. The Hurricanes scored 18 points off the Buckeyes’ miscues.
“Those turnovers, I think, were really, really crucial,” McGuff said. “I don’t know what we were doing.”
Many of OSU’s turnovers came off in-bounds plays, leading to easy opportunities for Miami.
“Some of the turnovers were just bizarre,” McGuff said. “We were doing things that I just haven’t seen in a long time.”
OSU will face the Cincinnati Bearcats on Sunday, Dec. 4 at Schottenstein Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.