Ohio State women’s basketball is now the proud owner of a four-game winning streak after cruising to a 118-61 victory over Alabama State on Friday night at Value City Arena in Columbus. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 12 in the country, now stand 9-3 on the season.
The Buckeyes had their full complement of players for the first time all season, as Linnae Harper, a transfer from Kentucky, made her debut in scarlet and gray. Stephanie Mavunga, who had missed the previous four games due to injury, was also back in the fold.
Kelsey Mitchell, who entered the night fifth in the nation in scoring, scored 15 points, one of seven Ohio State players in double figures. Mavunga had game-highs with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Harper, Tori McCoy, Shayla Cooper, Kiara Lewis, and Sierra Calhoun all had at least 10.
The Hornets, conversely, had just two players in double figures, Danielle Clark and Daniele Ewert who each had 12. ASU shot a dismal 30 percent as a team and turned the ball over 31 times.
It was Calhoun who had the hot hand early, scoring seven points in the game’s first few minutes. Alabama State started just 2-for-10 from the floor, leading to a 12-5 Ohio State lead at the midpoint of the first quarter.
The Hornets, who fell to 1-7 on the year, turned the ball over 12 times in the opening frame, which the Buckeyes capitalized on to the tune of 18 points, en route to a 32-12 lead. Mitchell shot just 1-for-6 from the field in the quarter, but Harper filled the void alongside Calhoun with seven points.
The second quarter was more of the same, as Mitchell and McCoy, the reigning national freshman of the week, started heating up. McCoy had seven quick points in the period, and Mitchell put up 12 of her half-high 15, as every Ohio State player that attempted a field goal made one. Mavunga turned in 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Harper added 11 points as the team took a 70-27 lead to halftime.
Alabama State turned the ball over 22 times in the game’s first twenty minutes, which the Buckeyes cashed in for 34 points. Ohio State shot 56 percent from the floor, including a solid 8-for-19 from three-point range.
The nightmare didn’t end for the Hornets after halftime, as a 4-for-21 shooting performance in the third quarter helped the Buckeyes’ lead balloon to 96-40. Ohio State began to enforce its will in the paint, with Mavunga, McCoy, and Cooper all getting what they wanted inside.
The Buckeyes pushed out to their largest point total of the season, eclipsing the 113 they put up against LIU-Brooklyn before Thanksgiving.
This game was Ohio State’s final tuneup before hitting the road to take on Connecticut, the top-ranked team in the country, on Monday night in Storrs. The clash with the Huskies, who handed the Buckeyes a 100-56 loss a season ago in Columbus, will tip off at 7 p.m. ET, and will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.