The Ohio State women’s basketball just claimed a share of the Big Ten regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this week’s conference tournament in Indianapolis. Now the Buckeyes can add another accolade to their list of accomplishments: Big Ten Player of the Year.
Junior guard Kelsey Mitchell was announced as the winner of the award for the second time in her career on Tuesday afternoon during a broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Mitchell led the conference in scoring at 23.4 points per game, and also added three rebounds, four assists, and a steal.
Ohio State went 15-1 during the conference season, good enough to secure the 15th Big Ten title in program history and first since 2010. Overall, the Buckeyes went 25-5 during the regular season, and currently sit at No. 9 in the latest AP rankings.
This season, Mitchell became the fastest player in NCAA women’s basketball history to amass 2,000 career points. The Cincinnati native currently has 2,463 points, ranking third in Ohio State history, sixth in conference history, and sitting less than one thousand away from the NCAA’s all-time mark, which is now held by Washington’s Kelsey Plum, who broke the old record this past weekend.
A season ago, Mitchell also led the Big Ten in scoring en route to being named first-team All-Conference, and a consensus All-American. She lost out on Player of the Year honors to Minnesota’s Rachel Banham despite averaging 26.1 points, good for third in the country.
Mitchell previously won the award as a freshman in 2015, when she shared the honor with Amanda Zahui B. of the Golden Gophers. The first freshman to ever lead the nation in scoring, she averaged 24.9 points per game and set NCAA single-season records with 127 three-point field goals made and 35 consecutive games with a make from beyond the arc.
In addition to Player of the Year honors, Mitchell was also named first-team All-Conference for the third time. She was a unanimous selection. Shayla Cooper and Stephanie Mavunga were both named to the All-Conference second team while Sierra Calhoun was honorable mention all-league.
Joining Mitchell in collecting postseason awards were Linnae Harper, named the conference’s 6th Player of the Year, and Tori McCoy, named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team.
Ohio State will play its first game of the Big Ten tournament on Friday at 12:00 p.m. ET against the winner of the 8/9 matchup between Iowa and Northwestern. The game will be broadcast live on BTN and be available for streaming on BTN2Go.