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No. 12 Ohio State women’s basketball takes the bite out of Ohio Bobcats 85-45

There was no upsetting the Buckeyes before the move to Big Ten play

Ohio State University athletic department

Tuesday, the Ohio State women’s basketball team took the court less than two days since beating the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, Tennessee. The task wasn’t as big at the Schottenstein Center, taking on in-state MAC school Ohio University.

After a close first half of the first quarter, the Buckeyes surged and never looked back, defeating the Bobcats 85-45.

Ohio University came in the heavy underdogs but didn’t look like it on the defensive end of the court to start the game. Halfway through the first quarter, the Buckeyes were 1-for-7 from the floor, with a lone three-point shot made by forward Rebeka Mikulášiková.

That’s because the Bobcats controlled the perimeter on defense, not allowing players like forwards Cotie McMahon and Taylor Thierry much room to work inside the paint. The Buckeyes combated it with passes around the arc but the open three attempts weren’t falling early.

Head coach Kevin McGuff adjusted, deciding to go right at the paint, leaning on Thierry and McMahon to do more. It worked, with Ohio State responding with 6-for-10 shooting to end the quarter, with Thierry’s seven points and McMahon’s four leading the scarlet and gray to a 16-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, with 10 points coming off turnovers.

Defensively, the Buckeyes limited shots, outshooting the Athens, Ohio side 17-11. The Bobcats hit two, both from deep, and had other chances but failed to convert.

The second quarter began with much of the same, plus a familiar moment for Buckeyes fans, courtesy of guard Celeste Taylor. The Big Ten Player of the Week added another impressive block to her scarlet and gray resume. Guard Kate Dennis went for the inside shot, but Taylor came up from behind and stuffed the shot out of bounds. It was that kind of first half for the Bobcats.

Although Ohio responded with a three-point shot, only its third made shot of the game, the Buckeyes’ offense nullified it quickly. Mikulášiková scored the first eight points of the second quarter. The first from deep and then hurting the visitors from inside the paint.

It was clear that the Bobcats’ burst of energy to start the game waned, and then the threes began falling for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State started the game going 1-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. In the second, it shot up to 5-for-8, with guard Emma Shumate doing the most damage. The Newark, Ohio high school graduate shot 4-for-5 from beyond the arc; all corner threes. At halftime, the Buckeyes were up 42-13, with Shumate’s career high 12 points outscoring the entire Bobcats team 12-7 in the second quarter.

Out of the locker room for the second half, the Buckeyes kept its starters in the game. On Ohio’s first offensive possession, Taylor grabbed another block, this time on a spinning layup attempt by guard Monica Williams. Outside of a three-point shot by Bobcats’ guard Kennedi Watkins, the Buckeye domination continued, responding with an 11-point run to extend the lead to 36 points with 16 minutes remaining in the game.

Taylor was the lone starter on the court with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter, still not losing intensity. After missing a layup, Taylor ran behind the Ohio player taking the ball up the court and took over her dribbling, turning into another offensive possession. It was that kind of night for the Buckeyes.

The fourth quarter saw no Buckeye starters on the court, giving them rest before Sunday’s visit from the Nittany Lions. Of the starting five, three scored in double figures on the night: Thierry and Mikulášiková each scoring 15 points and McMahon not far behind with 13 points.

While the Bobcats cut into its deficit at moments in the fourth quarter, there was no coming back from the mid-major. Ohio State held on comfortably, beating Ohio 85-45.

Shumate Shooting Continues

Leading the Buckeyes from deep was Shumate. Hitting an NCAA career high six in the game, the guard showed why Coach McGuff has so much faith in the shooter. Shumate wasn’t only hitting shots, but hitting them confidently without hesitation. The guard led the Buckeyes with 22 points.

It came after not receiving many minutes against the Vols on Sunday, playing only two of the 40 minutes, and not taking a shot. Granted the competition wasn’t the same as the SEC Side on Sunday, if Shumate continues shooting like she did from deep on Tuesday, it’ll be hard to not see the guard in bigger game scenarios.

In-State Dominance

While it wasn’t a record-breaking winning margin for the Buckeyes over the Bobcats, that was a 70-point Ohio State walloping on Dec. 1, 2004, it was a one-sided game for most of the 40 minutes of basketball. After defeating OU in Athens by 30 points last season, a Buckeyes side with improved defense from last time out were already up 29 points at the half.

At one point in the second half, the lead stretched to 41 points in the scarlet and gray’s favor. With the win, Ohio State goes to 23-1 against the Bobcats all-time.

What’s Next

Now the Buckeyes start the Big Ten conference schedule, at least for one game. Ohio State welcomes the Penn State Nittany Lions to the Schottenstein Center Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Nittany Lions grabbed attention to start the season, going 7-1 and losing to the USC Trojans by only a single point it its lone loss, but tripped up on the team’s first day back in the AP poll in ten years.

Monday, Penn State lost to the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown 83-65. The Mountaineers used a pressing defensive style to disrupt the Big Ten side for its first win over Penn State since 1989.

Ohio State played Penn State once last year. After amassing a big lead after three quarters, Nittany Lions’ guard Makenna Marisa scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to bring the game to a 67-55 scoreline.