The Ohio State women’s basketball team looked impressive on Sunday in a total performance against the Tennessee Volunteers. In the 78-58 victory, head coach Kevin McGuff’s side led the game from the jump to the final buzzer, securing the Buckeyes’ first win against the Vols on Rocky Top after four previous defeats. From that victory, a member of the scarlet and gray secured solo recognition, when the Big Ten named guard Celeste Taylor the player of the week.
Taylor had her best performance in a short seven-game career in scarlet and gray. The graduate senior transfer from Duke University was everywhere Ohio State needed her to be against the Volunteers.
Offensively, Taylor scored a season high 15 points as a member of the Buckeyes. In addition, Taylor added six offensive rebounds, matching the entire roster of Tennessee players put together. Taylor also added three assists.
Defensively, Taylor played the game Ohio State fans are now coming to expect from the Long Island native. Taylor added two steals and a block. A look closer at the performance itself and Taylor didn’t relent.
In the first quarter, with Ohio State already up 20-9 with under four minutes remaining, the Volunteers had three players in the paint, waiting to grab a defensive rebound. With most of the Buckeyes already getting back on defense, Taylor noticed the rebound wasn’t falling cleanly to the Vols. Taylor jumped up from behind and grabbed the ball away from Tennessee for one of her six offensive rebounds on the night.
On the Buckeyes next defensive possession, 6-foot-3 forward Karoline Striplin had the ball in the paint and went up for a layup. The 5-foot-11 Taylor didn’t let Striplin get the ball in the net, swatting the ball away for her lone block of the game.
Taylor also excelled in the half court. Tennessee guard Jasmine Powell, who started against the Buckeyes Sunday, entered the game averaging 12.7 points per contest. With Taylor involved in guarding on defense, Powell ended the game scoring just two points.
While it was a weekly award, Taylor’s defense has impressed all season. While still adjusting to a new system, Taylor averages 2.0 steals per game and is third on the roster in defensive rating.
This award is the first for Taylor, and the first Buckeye to win the honor since Taylor’s predecessor at shooting guard, now professional Taylor Mikesell, won on Jan. 9, 2023. In two seasons with the Blue Devils, Taylor didn’t earn the honor of ACC Player of the Week but did win Defensive Player of the Year and was one of three finalists for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.