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Big Ten unveils home/away opponents for Ohio State women’s basketball

Buckeyes to face Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes twice in the 23/24 regular season and more from the opponent release

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Less than 24 hours after Ohio State women’s basketball announced their first game of the season, the Big Ten shared the list of who the Buckeyes will face in-conference. There’s plenty to talk about in terms of additions to the schedule.

The biggest piece of the slate of games is head coach Kevin McGuff’s side facing the Iowa Hawkeyes twice in the regular season. Last year, the scarlet and gray faced superstar Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes twice, but once came in the Big Ten Tournament title game.

Ohio State was blown out of the title game, 105-72. That’s on top of an 83-72 defeat to Iowa in Columbus on Jan. 23. However, Clark hasn’t always had the Buckeyes’ number. On Jan. 31, 2022, McGuff’s side went to a hostile Iowa environment and beat the two-time Big Ten tournament champions 92-88.

This season, the Buckeyes get two chances before the postseason to show that they can compete with the national runners-up.

Elsewhere on the additions front, the Penn State Nittany Lions and Michigan State Spartans each face Ohio State twice this season. Penn State, like Iowa, hasn’t faced the Buckeyes twice in the regular season for the last two years, and the Spartans only taking one year off from a double match-up.

Each additional game against Penn State and Michigan State comes with storylines.

Penn State started last season looking like a team who could get back to competing in the conference but lost momentum and ended the season 14-17. In the offseason, the Nittany Lions added former Maryland Terrapin and Virginia Tech Hokie guard Ashley Owusu.

While Owusu got injured and then didn’t feature for Virginia Tech upon returning from injury, the guard is the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award winner for best shooting guard in the nation in 2021. Also, Owusu is a two-time Second Team All-B1G and one-time First Team selection.

The guard joins high scoring guard Makenna Marisa and forward Leilani Kapinus and can make the two games an interesting match-up. Last season, Marisa scored 18 points in the fourth quarter in an eventual Ohio State 67-55 win.

For Michigan State, its gone the other direction. After missing the NCAA Tournament, head coach Suzy Merchant stepped down from coaching duties after coaching Sparty since 2007.

With Merchant’s departure, Michigan State lost star guard Matilda Ekh to the transfer portal, ending up with the Hokies. Ohio State also benefited from Michigan State in the portal, adding forward Taiyier Parks. The new Buckeye will have two chances this season to beat her former team.

With the excitement that comes with additions, the biggest loss on the schedule is against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Buckeyes won’t face the Hoosiers twice, with Indiana coming to Columbus but no return trip to Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana, like Iowa, has had Ohio State’s number over the past couple years, but the Buckeyes fought back against that narrative in a big way in the conference semifinal. McGuff’s side made history, coming back from a 24-point deficit to defeat the Hoosiers 79-75.

Also, for the third season, the Buckeyes face the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Wisconsin Badgers and Purdue Boilermakers just once in the regular season. None of the three sides have faced Ohio State twice in the regular season since the 19/20 campaign, not including the 20/21 campaign that was heavily impacted by COVID-19.

Along with the announcement of opponents, the conference teased that the conference schedule was following soon. In a peculiar tweet, the Big Ten told people to mark their calendars for the full conference schedule, but didn’t share a date to mark. That is unless the default emoji “Jul 17” date also coincides with the conference’s schedule release.