After dropping the first two games of the season to the top two teams in the country, Ohio State's women's basketball team rebounded nicely with a four-game winning streak. The streak included an impressive 15-point victory over then-10th-ranked Texas A&M and a national player of the week honor for sophomore Kelsey Mitchell.
Following the Buckeyes' solid performance in the South Point Shootout that included that win over the Aggies, head coach Kevin McGuff's squad hit the road for South Bend and a matchup with the third-ranked Irish in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, rounding out Ohio State's brutal nonconference schedule.
A three-point attempt by Mitchell to tie the game as time expired bounced off the rim, and Notre Dame held on for a 75-72 win. The Cincinnati native scored a game-high 27 points, but it wasn't enough to withstand a 25-point, 11 rebound effort by Irish senior Madison Cable.
"She's as good a shooter as there is in college basketball, and she played great tonight," McGuff said of Cable after the game.
The Buckeyes lost the rebounding battle against a smaller Notre Dame team, 45-34, and gave up an astounding 19 offensive boards.
"I thought that was the difference in the game," McGuff said. "I thought we were fine through the first half, but then in the third quarter especially we really got beat on the glass. They got too many second-chance points."
With the exception of the blowout loss to Connecticut, Ohio State has proven it can play with the elite programs in the country. In addition to the three-point loss to Notre Dame, the Buckeyes fell to No. 2 South Carolina by just eight in the season opener.
A trip to Cincinnati on Saturday provided a bounce-back opportunity for Ohio State, and it responded with a balanced offensive attack to thrash the Bearcats, 105-76. Six Buckeyes scored in double-figures, led by junior Shayla Cooper's 18 and senior Ameryst Alston's 16 and nine assists.
Cincinnati was held under 38 percent shooting for the game, but did manage to grab 21 offensive rebounds, a fact that McGuff will surely be addressing with his team. Sophomore guard Ana Owens also torched the Ohio State defense for a career-high 35 points.
The Buckeyes now don't play for a week. North Carolina A&T, a 3-4 team out of the MEAC, will be in Columbus next Sunday for a 2:00 p.m. ET tip-off.