Buckeyes Open New Year With 85-68 Rout of #16 Rutgers

Kelsey Mitchell
Kelsey Mitchell
Jan. 1, 2015

Final Stats

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  • COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's basketball team could have started 2015 any better as it rolled past No. 16 Rutgers 85-68 Thursday afternoon at Value City Arena.

    The Buckeyes (9-5, 1-1 B1G) used two big runs, one in each half, to take control of the game. The defense sprung both runs as Ohio State forced 21 Rutgers (10-3, 1-1 B1G) turnovers and held the Scarlet Knights to just 35.4 percent from the floor. That was Rutgers' second-lowest shooting percentage of the season.

    Freshman sensation Kelsey Mitchell was special again on Thursday, coming up with big plays when the Buckeyes needed it most. She finished with game-highs of 33 points and six assists. This was her third 30-point game of the year. Mitchell was also 11-of-11 from the free throw line.

     

     

    Junior Ameryst Alston continued her steady play, scoring 21 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Alston has now scored 20 or more points in five-straight games.

    Freshman Asia Doss and redshirt-sophomore Lisa Blair were the other two Buckeyes in double-figures as each notched 10 points. Doss made a season-high two three-pointers while Blair pulled-down seven rebounds and blocked five shots.

    Betnijah Laney led Rutgers with a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Scaife added 17 points.

    Ohio State got off to a rough start from the floor, missing its first nine shot attempts. That allowed Rutgers to race out to a 6-0 lead but the Buckeyes offense got on track and scored the next 12 points to settle into the game.

    The run didn't stop there as the Buckeyes continued to force Rutgers into turnovers and took as much as a 17-point lead in the first half. Ohio State forced 12 turnovers and held a 17-1 edge in points off turnovers in the first half.

    Rutgers knifed the lead down to nine points at 49-40 with just under 15 minutes to play but a Mitchell three-pointer sparked a 13-0 Ohio State run that swung the momentum right back to the host. The Buckeyes continued the pressure and built as much as a 28-point lead and cruised down the stretch for its second victory over a ranked team this season.

    Key Run

  • Rutgers cut the Ohio State lead to 49-40 with 14:30 to play and the Buckeyes were in the midst of almost a three- minute scoring drought.
  • Just as she has all year, Kelsey Mitchell righted the ship with a three-pointer and that shifted the momentum.
  • Ohio State scored 13-straight points over a three-minute span to take its largest lead of the game at 62-40 with 10:31 to play.
  • That crushed any hopes of a Rutgers comeback.
  • Mitchell scored eight of the 13 points
  • The Scarlet Knights were 0-3 from the floor and had three turnovers during the drought.

    Points Off Turnovers

  • One of the key stats in the games was that the Buckeyes forced Rutgers into 21 turnovers which led to 25 points.
  • Rutgers was only able to convert 15 Ohio State turnovers into eight points.
  • In the first half, OSU held a 17-1 edge in points off turnovers.

    Dominating Inside

  • Rutgers had outscored all but one of its opponents in points in the paint and was averaging 34.8 points per game inside.
  • On Thursday, the Buckeyes held Rutgers to just 18 points in the paint, its lowest total of the season.
  • In contrast, Ohio State scored 40 points inside.

    Miscellaneous Notes

  • Cait Craft made her 50th career start
  • Ameryst Alston moved into a tie for 23rd on the Ohio State career scoring list, passing No. 24 Lauren Shenk (1,155) and pulling even with Frani Washington. Alston now has 1,173 career points.
  • Lisa Blair blocked five shots today and now has 51 for her career.

    Tough Stretch

  • The Buckeyes are in the middle of a four-game stretch facing ranked opponents.
  • Ohio State knocked-off No. 18 West Virginia 96-54 on Dec. 22, but then fell 87-78 to No. 9 Maryland last Monday.
  • On Sunday, the Buckeyes will host No. 25 Northwestern, who is off to a 12-1 start this season.

    Up Next...

  • Ohio State remains at home to take on Northwestern this Sunday at 4 p.m.
  • The game will televised by the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington and Katie Smith on the call.
  • The Buckeyes have won 23 of the last 25 games in the series with Northwestern, including each of the last four.