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Ohio State women's basketball plays tough, still falls to UConn

The Lady Buckeyes held No. 1 Connecticut to their lowest point total of the year, but it wasn't enough as the team finished the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge 3-2

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Women's Basketball team experienced both sides of a blowout last week as they played their final two games in the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge.

On Wednesday, the Buckeyes routed Lehigh 93-63 behind a career high 21 points from senior forward Martina Ellerbe.  Ellerbe was one of five players in double figures for Head Coach Kevin McGuff.  The Buckeyes overcame an early deficit by finishing the first half on a 17-4 run and beginning the second half with a 16-1 run, holding the Mountain Hawks to 28 percent shooting for the game.

Ellerbe added six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block to her 10 of 12 shooting night, earning praise from McGuff.

"I think, overall, she has been playing very well, so we wanted to try inserting her into the starting lineup," McGuff said.  "I think, so far, she is taking advantage of that opportunity.  Martina was terrific tonight."

The Buckeyes concluded the Hall of Fame Challenge on Sunday, taking on top-ranked Connecticut in Springfield, Massachusetts.  The Huskies, coming off a seven-day break, started slugglishly, and Ohio State trailed by just three points midway through the first half.  A 22-7 run by UConn to close the half proved too much for the team to overcome, though. Connecticut cruised to a 70-49 victory, dropping McGuff's squad to 6-3 on the season.

"They're so good you have to give something up," McGuff said.  "We just got beat by the best team in the country.  There's no moral victories, but we don't come into the game focused on the score.  We focused on how hard we want to play and do the things that make us a good team.  For the most part, we did that."

Junior guard Raven Ferguson led the Buckeyes with 14 points, all coming in the second half.  Sophomore guard Ameryst Alston added 11 while playing all 40 minutes, and Ellerbe had 10 in the losing effort.

Ohio State has little time to dwell on their worst loss of the season. They will match up with the 8th-ranked Maryland Terrapins on the road tonight as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge before hosting 24th-ranked Gonzaga on Sunday.