Buckeyes Lead Wire-To-Wire In 73-64 Victory Over #25 Northwestern

Sophomore Shayla Cooper
Sophomore Shayla Cooper
Jan. 4, 2015

Final Stats

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  • Cooper and Mitchell Press Conference
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  • COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State jumped out to a 9-0 lead and would never trail in a 73-64 victory over No. 25 Northwestern Sunday afternoon at Value City Arena.

    The Buckeyes (10-5, 2-1 B1G) have won six of their last seven games including back-to-back games over ranked teams.

     

     

    After enjoying a blowout victory last Thursday against No. 16 Rutgers, Ohio State had more of a fight with the Wildcats. The Buckeyes took a 10-point lead early in the second half and held on as Northwestern (12-2, 2-1 B1G) cut the deficit to one point on a couple of occasions. But down the stretch, the Buckeyes went on a 14-3 run to take control of the game.

    Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell again led Ohio State with 23 points. It was her 12th 20-point game this season and she also led the team with five assists.

    Sophomore transfer Shayla Cooper came off the bench and scored a career-high 19 points and pulled-down a team-high nine rebounds.

    Junior Ameryst Alston was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

    Nia Coffey led the Wildcats with a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. But she fouled-out with 4:14 to play in the game which came right in the middle of the Buckeyes' decisive run.

    The Buckeyes led by six points at halftime and pushed the lead to 10 with 14:09 to play. An 11-2 Northwestern run over the next two and a half minutes trimmed the lead to one and forced an Ohio State timeout.

    The scored stayed close until Cooper hit a pair of free throws with 6:36 to jump-start the key 14-3 run that gave the Buckeyes the momentum it needed to close out the game. Mitchell was again the catalyst during the spurt as she scored 10 of the 14 points and assisted on the other field goal.

    The start of the game couldn't have gone any better for the Buckeyes as they raced out to a 9-0 lead thanks to some pressure defense. Northwestern missed its first four shots from the floor and had six turnovers before it scored its first point at the 15:44 mark. Mitchell scored seven of the first nine for the Buckeyes.

    Once the teams settled-in, Northwestern worked its way back and held the Buckeyes scoreless over the final 2:42. That allowed the Wildcats to creep within 32-26 at the break.

    Key Run

  • With the Buckeyes leading 53-51 with seven minutes to play, Ohio State went on a 14-3 run over the next four minutes and a half minutes to put the game away.
  • Mitchell had 10 of the 14 points during the spurt and assisted on the only other field.
  • Northwestern was 1-of-4 from the floor and had three turnovers in the run.
  • Nia Coffey, the Wildcats leading scorer, picked-up her fourth and fifth fouls during that span.
  • NU head coach Joe McKeown also was hit with a technical foul which added to the Buckeyes momentum.

    Miscellaneous Notes

  • Northwestern didn't get on the board until a Nia Coffey free throw at the 15:44 mark which was the longest the Buckeyes have held an opponent scoreless to start a game this year.
  • Kelsey Mitchell scored 23 points, marking her 12th 20-point game of the season.
  • Ohio State won the rebounding battle 42-38. That was just the third time this season the Buckeyes have won the battle on the boards and they would go on to win the game all three times.
  • Shayla Cooper recorded a career-high 19 points and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
  • The Buckeyes shot a season-best 94.7 (18-of-19) from the free throw line with all 19 attempts coming in the second half.

    Tough Stretch

  • The Buckeyes completed a stretch of facing four-straight ranked teams and come out with a 3-1 record.
  • Ohio State started the stretch by knocking-off No. 18 West Virginia on Dec. 22 and then fell at No. 9 Maryland in the B1G opener on Dec. 29.
  • Last Thursday, the Buckeyes took down No. 16 Rutgers 85-68.

    Up Next...

  • The Buckeyes head out on the road this week to take Indiana and Michigan.
  • The game at Indiana is set for Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m.
  • Ohio State has won six-straight in the series with the Hooisers, including last year's only meeting.