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Looking back at Ohio State women’s basketball sophomores

After a championship season, three members of the class are on their way out, but not before impacting the championship season

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Spokane Regional-Texas Longhorns vs Ohio State Buckeyes James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two weeks, Land-Grant Holy Land recapped the 2021-22 Ohio State Women’s Basketball season through the lens of each class of student athlete. After looking at the seniors and juniors, it’s time to dive into how a group of four sophomores played throughout the season.

Players are listed by minutes played, and their status for next season is accurate as of publishing.

Rikki Harris

Harris, a redshirt-sophomore, came into the season with one year on the court under her belt at Ohio State. The 2020-21 season saw Harris start one game, appear in 18 and play only 189 minutes.

At the beginning of the season, the guard didn’t have a starting spot on the Ohio State Buckeyes. With a season-ending injury to junior Madison Greene, Heyvnne Bristow and Kateri Poole received selection in the starting roster, with Harris often the second or third player off the bench. It didn’t seem like Harris was in the conversation to start.

Even so, Harris kept working. While Harris wasn’t brought in to help offensively, she knew the system defensively and contributed. In 32 games of the 21-22 season, Harris had 52 steals, best for second on the team and 13th-best in the B1G conference. Head coach Kevin McGuff’s press fit the energy and court presence of Harris perfectly.

Harris didn’t start a game until Jan. 12, after starting guard Kateri Poole missed for injury. From there, Harris never relinquished the position. Ohio State put Harris next to Taylor Mikesell and Jacy Sheldon, and as the Buckeyes found their stride in the last two months of the season, it was Harris’ consistency on defense, and adding a career high 7.1 points per game, that helped propel Ohio State.

Awards-wise, Harris was one of nine Buckeyes players to receive an All-B1G Academic Selection. Also, the conference awarded Harris with a Sportsmanship Award honor in B1G postseason awards.

Kateri Poole

To start the season, it was Poole that had McGuff’s favor in the starting lineup. The second year Buckeye from the Bronx, New York had the point guard role. Poole brought offensive talent and a hunger to charge the basket for layups using ballhandling to get past defenders.

Poole started the second game and continued with 13 straight starts. In that time, Poole averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 assists per game, until Jan. 9 against Northwestern. The point guard sustained an injury in the fifth minute and missed the next four games. In that time missed was the Buckeyes biggest regular season win against ranked Maryland on Jan. 20.

Sheldon showed her skill at the point guard position, and McGuff kept her in the role for the remainder of the season. In Poole’s final 15 games of the season, the guard hit double digit minutes on the court just six times, and moved to an end of the quarter role to give Sheldon or Harris a break.

On March 28, Poole entered the transfer portal, seeking to end her time with the Ohio State Buckeyes after that move to a diminished on-court role.

Gabby Hutcherson

A name that Buckeyes fans didn’t see a lot on the court was guard Gabby Hutcherson. The 6-foot-2 sophomore appeared in 18 games, the same amount as the 20-21 season, but played less minutes overall with 183. Outside of a 13 point, six assist game in a 94-50 win against Mount St. Mary’s, Hutcherson’s contributions were infrequent.

Hutcherson was the fifth guard on the team, coming in mainly in games where the Buckeyes were up, or down, big or as another player to give starters rest near the end of quarters. In Hutcherson’s 18 games, nine times she hit double digit minutes.

Hutcherson, like Harris, received an Academic All-B1G Selection. Following the Buckeyes B1G Championship winning season, Hutcherson entered the transfer portal.

Anyssa Jones

Guard Anyssa Jones, who also played with Hutcherson at Westerville South High School, outside of Columbus, Ohio, played 39 minutes in 21-22. Jones played part in seven non-conference games that ended in Ohio State blowouts. Once the conference schedule began, Jones played two minutes on Jan. 20 against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Jones entered the transfer portal and committed to the University of Dayton, keeping her collegiate basketball in the state of Ohio.