It was a good first week of the NCAA season for the Ohio State Buckeyes women’s basketball team. Really good, actually. On Monday, the voters for the AP Poll rewarded the Buckeyes with a higher spot on the weekly way to gauge the best teams in the country. After one week in play, Ohio State moves from No. 14 to No. 8. The six spots is the largest jump on the poll this week.
Last season, a critique of the Scarlet & Gray was a softer non-conference schedule. Ohio State played one team from a Power Five conference, losing to a rebuilding Syracuse University in the ACC/B1G Challenge.
This season, head coach Kevin McGuff challenged his team with a schedule full of tests, and it began on the first day of the campaign. Ohio State started on Election Day, welcoming the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers to The Buckeye State.
After a tough first half, McGuff’s side scored 30 third quarter points. Graduate senior guard Taylor Mikesell let the way, scoring 25 points on their way to an 87-75 victory.
The win was the second win in a row for Ohio State over a top-10 team from the SEC. In the NCAA Tournament, the Buckeyes beat head coach Kim Mulkey’s Louisiana State University side 79-64 on Mar. 21, 2022.
Ohio State’s victory was also only the third time in five years that a Big Ten team beat a top-five non-conference opponents in the past five years; causing Buckeye fans to storm the court of the Schottenstein Center.
After the court was cleared, Ohio State had to temper their emotions and focus on their next task: beating the Boston College Eagles. Although the Eagles are a young team who’ve lost key names, they’re still part of a tough ACC, and the Buckeyes learned last season that a rebuilding ACC side is going to be stronger than teams from smaller conferences.
It only took Ohio State one quarter of adjusting to their opponents to find their groove and go on the attack. Led by a program record-tying 11 steals by guard Jacy Sheldon and 23-point, 10-rebound double-double by forward Rebeka Mikulášiková, the Buckeyes quieted a tough Eagles interior, winning 82-64.
With their new standing in the polls, the Buckeyes have two games until the next AP release. Thursday, Ohio State takes the short bus trip southeast to Athens, Ohio. Tucked in the hills of the Ohio Valley will be a match-up between the scarlet & gray of Ohio State and Ohio University green.
The Buckeyes can avenge their last in-state loss, back in Nov. 2019 when the Bobcats stunned the Bucks on Ohio State’s home court.
Following their trip to MAC country, McGuff and the Buckeyes welcome McNeese State, of the Southland Conference, to the Schottenstein center on Sunday, Nov. 20.