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The impact of Ohio State Women’s Basketball freshmen in 2021-22

The Buckeyes’ two freshmen had differing impacts, but show signs of a strong future.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament - Second Round-Ohio St. at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

In a series recapping the 2021-22 Ohio State Buckeyes Women’s Basketball season, Land-Grant Holy Land’s focused on each class. Closing it out are a pair of freshmen. The youngest group of Buckeyes didn’t see a lot of the court, but as the season grew, so did the presence of one player.

Listed by order of minutes played, here’s how the first year Buckeyes performed in 2021/22. Transfer status is current as of publishing.

Taylor Thierry

Of the two first-years, forward Taylor Thierry impacted the B1G Regular Season Co-Champions the most. In a way, Thierry’s campaign is a perfect representation of the Buckeyes’ season. Thierry took time to find her footing, and then established herself as a player to watch.

Thierry began the year playing most of her minutes in Ohio State’s non-conference schedule. As the Buckeyes pulled away from teams like Bellarmine University and Mount St. Mary’s, Thierry had more chances to show her impact.

In the first 15 of Thierry’s 30 appearances on the season, she averaged 11 minutes per game. Once the B1G schedule began, it dropped to 7.25 minutes in eight games. At the turn of the calendar into 2022, Thierry’s B1G conference minutes shifted from giving starters a rest to entering the game to change the dynamic.

The Cleveland, Ohio native started coming off the bench halfway through the first quarter of games to give opponents a different look. When Thierry entered the game, she proved to be the most athletic player on the court, a line used often by head coach Kevin McGuff and her Ohio State teammates throughout 2022.

Thierry’s ability to leap for blocks, and the court awareness to put herself into positions to do just that, gave opponents a different look. While offensively, Thierry hit nine points as her season high, her impact defensively and on the boards put Ohio State into positions to win.

On the second to last game of the regular season, against the Penn State Nittany Lions, Thierry had six rebounds, with four coming on the offensive glass. Ohio State’s 78-55 win also included Thierry’s highest number of blocks in a game all season, stuffing six Penn State shots. In one case, Thierry leapt to block a three-point attempt, sending the ball into the stands.

Three days later, against the Michigan State Spartans, Thierry’s second half helped Ohio State put themselves into position for a trophy. With the Spartans in the lead with 3:33 remaining in the fourth quarter, Thierry grabbed an offensive rebound, three defensive rebounds and hit two free throws in the 61-55 victory.

At the final whistle, Thierry had 11 rebounds — her best rebounding game of the season. With the Iowa Hawkeyes defeat of the Michigan Wolverines on the same day, Thierry and the Buckeyes lifted their 16th regular season conference title.

With Thierry’s first season of collegiate basketball, it did come with some learning moments. Fouls were a problem at times. Thierry committed two early fouls against the Indiana Hoosiers in the semifinals of the B1G Conference Tournament. That led to Thierry playing only seven minutes, her only single-digit minutes game in the second half of the season.

During the NCAA Tournament, Thierry returned closer to her regular season form. The forward grabbed 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in three games.

The future is bright for the soon-to-be sophomore. Entering the 2022-23 season, Buckeyes fans might see Thierry’s name in the starting lineup with guard Braxtin Miller and forward Tanaya Beacham’s departure from the team.

Kaitlyn Costner

Guard was a tough position to break through during the 2021-22 Buckeyes season. The Scarlet & Gray started two First Team All-B1G guards in Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell. Behind them were two guards in Rikki Harris and Kateri Poole who saw most of the Buckeye’s minutes.

Kaitlyn Costner appeared in 11 games for Ohio State. In 59 minutes played, Costner had six points, five assists and a pair of steals.