Ohio State football's blowout win in the Big House in Ann Arbor may have been the headline of the weekend for Buckeye sports, and deservedly so, but Urban Meyer's squad wasn't the only one in scarlet and gray to get a big win.
Thanks to another record-setting performance by Kelsey Mitchell, the Ohio State women's basketball team put up a 2-0 record at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, extending its winning streak to four games.
In a 95-80 victory over 10th-ranked Texas A&M on Saturday, Mitchell tied the program record for points in a game, scoring 42 on 12-20 shooting, including 3-7 from three-point range, and 15-16 from the free throw line. The performance also pushed the Cincinnati native over 1,000 career points in just her 41st game, the quickest any Big Ten women's player has done so.
"Kelsey was very efficient today," head coach Kevin McGuff said after the game. "She's a special player and a great kid, and she has a tremendous impact on our team. She is one of the best players in the country. She just wants to do everything she can to help us win."
The Buckeyes started the game off ice-cold from the field, missing six of their first seven shots and turning the ball over three times in the first four minutes. The Aggies capitalized on that, jumping out to an early 17-2 lead. Ohio State, led by Mitchell and Ameryst Alston, battled back to cut the deficit to two at halftime. Alston led the team with 12 first half points, while Mitchell added 11.
After the half, the Buckeyes' All-American sophomore took over, scoring 31 on 8-9 shooting. Alston finished the night with 21 points and a team-high three assists, as the Buckeyes outscored A&M 59-42 in the second half. Lost in the excitement surrounding Mitchell's performance was the fact that the win also marked the 300th in McGuff's coaching career.
Ohio State's first win over a ranked opponent came on the heels of a hard-fought victory on Friday against Liberty. In a game where the Flames out-rebounded the Buckeyes 42-31 and would not go away, clutch free throw shooting down the stretch helped McGuff's squad hold on for a 75-65 win.
Mitchell led all scorers with 20, while Alston contributed 13 points and four steals and Alexa Hart turned in her best offensive performance of the season, going for 18. Despite the close score, Ohio State played opportunistic defense, forcing 29 Liberty turnovers.
Up next for the Buckeyes is yet another marquee matchup, as the club travels to South Bend to take on No. 3 Notre Dame as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This will be the third top-3 opponent of the season for Ohio State, which previously lost to No. 2 South Carolina and top-ranked Connecticut. The Irish are 6-0 in the early going, and fresh off an overtime win against UCLA in the Junkanoo Jam tournament in the Bahamas on Saturday.