After Ohio State’s “Senior Night” victory against the Wisconsin Badgers, kids lined up to take layups on the court. Following their points in the paint, they moved to an even longer line – to get an autograph from guard Jacy Sheldon. At the end of that line, and a week featuring three Buckeye games, was the Big Ten honoring Sheldon with her addition to the conference’s weekly honor roll for the second time in 2021-22.
The Buckeyes had a busy week. In three games, they won two and lost one. Throughout those matchups, Sheldon led the Buckeyes, averaging 21 points, 4.3 assists and 3 steals. In Ohio State’s lopsided victory over Illinois and narrow defeat to the Maryland Terrapins, Sheldon scored 22 points in each game, which were her 12th and 13th 20-point games of the season.
It wasn’t only the number of points that earned Sheldon the honor, but how efficiently she scored. Sheldon led the Buckeyes with a .556 field goal percentage and went 10-of-12 from the free throw line.
Sheldon has run the Buckeyes’ offense since guard Kateri Poole went down with a shoulder injury on Jan. 9 in a trip to Northwestern. During that run, the Buckeyes won nine and lost only twice, to No. 6 Michigan and No. 13 Maryland. Even with Poole’s return from injury, Sheldon’s kept the job as the Buckeye’s point guard, averaging five assists over the 11 games.
Outside of her impact in the stat sheet, Sheldon provides a boost of energy whenever she’s on the court. Ohio State’s press defense requires constant movement, which is something Sheldon sets the precedent for other players on the court.
The 2021-22 season featured a lot of question marks for the Buckeyes, but they’ve exceeded expectations and sit in a position where they could win the conference championship. Ohio State will need some help to do it, but sit with Maryland and the Indiana Hoosiers a half game back from the Wolverines for the top spot.
The Buckeyes have two games remaining, wrapping up their 2021-22 B1G regular season first against the Penn State Nittany Lions (10-15, 4-11) on Thursday. It’s Ohio State’s last game at the Schottenstein Center until the start of next season. On Sunday, the Buckeyes travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans (14-11, 8-6) in the finale.
While it’s the only time the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes have played this season, it won’t be the first time Ohio State takes on Michigan State. On Jan. 12, the Buckeyes beat the Spartans 89-83. In that game, Sheldon led the Buckeyes with 33 points, six rebounds and six assists.
If Ohio State wins their two remaining games this season, they’re guaranteed a double-bye in the B1G Women’s Basketball Tournament. It would give the Scarlet & Gray two extra days of rest before joining the tournament in the quarterfinals.