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