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Big Ten schedule released for Ohio State women’s basketball

Looking at the Buckeyes’ conference journey for the 23-24 season, including two big games against Iowa

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Championship - Ohio State vs. Iowa Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Until the Ohio State women’s basketball season tips off in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 6, Land-Grant Holy Land has coverage from all angles. Follow along for player previews, schedule release information and stories from the coaches and players themselves — all getting you ready for the start of the season when the Buckeyes take on the USC Trojans in Sin City.

It’s been 178 days since the season ended for the Ohio State women’s basketball team, at the hands of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Elite Eight. Since then, players have transferred in, transferred out, freshman showed up for camp and future recruits committed to a Buckeyes program that’s getting stronger. Thursday, the Big Ten conference showed what the new Ohio State squad has to do to return to the Elite Eight, announcing the 23-24 conference schedule.

For the Buckeyes, conference play starts December 10, when the Penn State Nittany Lions come to Columbus for the first time since the end of the 21-22 season. Penn State is a potential sleeper team in the conference, with a roster capable of making its way back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.

Penn State returns the strongest pieces of their roster, and added an All-American in the transfer portal. Career Penn State guard Makenna Marisa and forward Leilani Kapinus lead the Lions but the transfer of former Maryland and Virginia Tech guard Ashley Owusu is the storyline to watch.

The conference takes a break from there, with no Big Ten games for 20 days, when Ohio State plays its first rivalry game against the Michigan Wolverines on December 30. The Buckeyes defeated Michigan on New Years’ Eve last season in Columbus, but this year the scarlet and gray travel north.

Ohio State defeated their rivals twice last season, and the offseason for Michigan featured the departure of guard Leigha Brown and forward Emily Kiser. On paper the Wolverines aren’t as strong as past seasons, but the continued of growth of guard Laila Phelia is a matchup to watch. The two teams face-off again on the second-to-last game of the conference season, in Columbus, on February 28.

Head coach Kevin McGuff’s side had success against most of the Big Ten last season, except the two teams that sat at the top of the standings at seasons’ end: The Iowa Hawkeyes and Indiana Hoosiers.

For the crimson neighbors to the west, the Buckeyes and Hoosiers play only once in the regular season. On February 4, the Schottenstein Center hosts the next game in what's been an entertaining series with two competitive sides. Indiana bested Ohio State twice in the regular season last year, but the Buckeyes shocked head coach Teri Moren’s side in the Big Ten Tournament. That’s when the scarlet and gray came back from 24 points to defeat the Hoosiers in the semifinal game.

The Buckeyes look for their first regular season win against the Hoosiers since January 28, 2021.

Although the Buckeyes lose a game against the Hoosiers this year, it gains an even bigger matchup against Naismith Player of the Year Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

On January 21, the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes tip-off in Columbus, Ohio. The scarlet and gray look to avenge two defeats at the hands of Clark last season, where both games featured the superstar hitting a triple double.

However, the Hawkeyes have lost key players, without response from the transfer portal. That and defensive additions for the Buckeyes could make the contests much closer than was on display in the 22-23 season.

Credit to the Big Ten’s scheduling folks for Iowa and Ohio State’s second regular season game. The two teams that are both hoping to be at the top of the standings at seasons’ end face-off again on the final day of the season. Setting up a potential winner-take-all game for the conference title.

Elsewhere on the schedule are a pair of games against other top Big Ten teams like the Maryland Terrapins (January 17 and February 25) and a lone game against the Illinois Fighting Illini, in Champaign, Illinois, on January 25.

As for the non-conference schedule, there’s still some time before that will be released as opponents are finalized.

However, there are marquee matchups already announced on non-conference side. The first is the November 6 season tip-off against the USC Trojans in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also, a trip to the Bahamas to face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls and Eastern Carolina Pirates at the end of November. Plus a game in SEC country, heading to Rocky Top to face the Tennessee Volunteers on December 3.

Here’s the full Big Ten schedule for the Buckeyes:

Ohio State women’s Big Ten schedule

Date Opponent Location
Date Opponent Location
Dec. 10 Penn State Columbus, Ohio
Dec. 30 Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jan. 5 Northwestern Evanston, Illinois
Jan. 11 Rutgers Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 14 Michigan State Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 17 Maryland College Park, Maryland
Jan. 21 Iowa Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 25 Illinois Champaign, Illinois
Jan. 28 Purdue West Lafayette, Indiana
Feb. 1 Wisconsin Columbus, Ohio
Feb. 4 Indiana Columbus, Ohio
Feb. 8 Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota
Feb. 11 Michigan State East Lansing, Michigan
Feb. 14 Nebraska Columbus, Ohio
Feb. 22 Penn State State College, Pennsylvania
Feb. 25 Maryland Columbus, Ohio
Feb. 28 Michigan Columbus, Ohio
Mar. 3 Iowa Iowa City, Iowa