Last week, Ohio State women’s basketball freshman Cotie McMahon secured her first Big Ten Player of the Week award. It’s an award an Ohio State player hasn’t received since current redshirt junior Madison Greene received the honor on Feb. 17, 2020. There wasn’t an almost three-year wait this time around, with McMahon doubling up the honor in consecutive weeks.
The Buckeyes faced only one team this week, after narrowly defeating the Michigan State Spartans on Dec. 11. That team wasn’t up there with the Tennessee Volunteers and Louisville Cardinals of the basketball world, but the UAlbany Great Danes still gave Ohio State a rough first half of basketball before the Scarlet & Gray pulled away.
A big piece of Ohio State’s 82-57 win was McMahon. The forward started the game strong, scoring the first nine points for the Buckeyes. McMahon continued her tear, adding another 13 before the final buzzer sounded, making 24 points her new scoring high in her first season of NCAA basketball.
Scoring 20-plus points made Friday night’s win her third game reaching at least 20 points, starting all 11 for the Buckeyes. Of those three high-scoring games, two came in Ohio State’s last three games.
McMahon’s shown a growing maturity after early tests on the season calendar saw the Centerville, Ohioan playing with energy, and attacking the basket, but into crowded spaces and making easy work for college defenses. Since then, and games against Boston College and Louisville where minutes were diminished in place of veterans on the team, McMahon’s shined.
In the last four Ohio State games, McMahon’s scored 14.2 points, grabbed 6.3 rebounds, and dished 3.8 assists per game. That came after averaging 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1 assist per game in the first seven.
Head coach Kevin McGuff and teammates applauded McMahon’s work over the past few games, referencing how the game is slowing down for the freshman, and instead of rushing to the basket, she’s taking a second to find open teammates and draw attention away.
That doesn’t mean she still isn’t fast. McMahon’s aggressive defense and her movement down the court off turnovers led McGuff to call McMahon “the most exciting 10 seconds in women’s basketball.”
The forward wasn’t alone in receiving the award this week. Rutgers guard Kaylene Smikle averaged 22.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two games for the Scarlet Knights last week, including a 26-point, eight-rebound, game against the Princeton Tigers.
Currently, McMahon and the Buckeyes are in San Diego, California. On Tuesday, the Scarlet & Gray face the USF Bulls. On Wednesday, they follow that game up against either the Arkansas Razorbacks or Oregon Ducks, depending on the results from either game.