The No. 15 Ohio State women’s basketball team walked away from its first win in Williams Arena since 2011 after Thursday night’s game, beating the Minnesota Gophers 88-76.
The Buckeyes (18-5, 8-1 Big Ten) were lead by junior guard Kelsey Mitchell with 25 points where she also racked up two assists and five rebounds. She was followed by senior forward Shayla Cooper with 18 points. Redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga dominated on both sides of the ball getting her ninth double-double of the season with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Mitchell passed former Minnesota player Lindsay Whalen in the Big Ten all-time scoring list, becoming the Big Ten’s tenth all-time scorer after ending Thursday’s game with 2,287 career points.
OSU struggled in the first quarter. Minnesota (11-10, 2-6 Big Ten) came out in a 2-3 zone and swarmed OSU’s shooters, holding the Buckeyes to an 0-for-5 start from beyond the arc. The Gophers also forced six OSU turnovers, and held a one point lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Buckeyes found their rhythm offensively as the Big Ten’s leading scorer found her groove. Mitchell hit three straight shots midway through the quarter to swing the momentum in OSU’s favor.
In the third, the Gophers couldn’t stop Cooper, as she hit several open jumpers from the elbow. Additionally, the Buckeyes came out of halftime and got to the line more and knocked down their shots, knocking down 7-of-9 free throws in the third.
Two minutes into the last quarter of play, Minnesota junior guard Carlie Wagner hit a wide-open 3-pointer to cut the lead to three and got the crowd into the game. However, Minnesota relinquished momentum when Mavunga grabbed an offensive rebound and hit the put-back shot. Wagner went on to score 34 points, but OSU’s offense kept the score in its favor.
OSU scored 26 in the last quarter of play, and finished with 50 percent shooting from the field as a team. The Buckeyes will look to continue their winning streak to five, facing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Schottenstein Center on Sunday at noon.