Despite Mitchell's Record, Buckeyes Fall To #23 Minnesota
Kelsey Mitchell has made 66 three-pointers this season
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State freshman Kelsey Mitchell made a school-record nine three-pointers Thursday night but No. 23 Minnesota didn't give an inch down the stretch and held on for a 76-72 victory.
Mitchell scored a game-high 36 points and also had team-highs of seven rebounds and seven assists. However, the Cincinnati, Ohio native fouled-out with 1:11 left which was a blow to the Buckeyes' comeback effort.
The loss was the second-straight for the Buckeyes who are now 11-7 on the season and 3-3 in the B1G. Minnesota improved to 15-2 on the year and 4-1 in the conference.
Junior Ameryst Alston found her spot in the middle of the Minnesota zone and scored 18 points. She pulled-down six rebounds and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.
Freshman Alexa Hart tied Mitchell with seven rebounds to go along with her eight points and game-high five blocks.
The Gophers were 17-of-20 in the second half from the free throw line and out-rebounded the Buckeyes 60-40 for the game. Those two stats allowed Minnesota to hold the upper hand after taking the lead for good with 12:24 to go.
Shae Kelley had a career-night for the Gophers, notching career-highs of 29 points and 18 rebounds. Mikayla Bailey also had a double-double with a season-high 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Both teams shot under 30 percent in the opening half and each team was whistled for just six fouls. Mitchell seemed to be the only one on the floor that didn't struggle as she hit six of her nine three-pointers and had 20 points at the break.
The second half was a different story as it struggled to find any flow. The Buckeyes were called for 13 fouls which led to 20 free throws for Minnesota. The Gophers were whistled for 12 fouls and the Buckeyes shot 13 free throws in the second half.
Ohio State led by one at halftime and the score stayed close for the first eight minutes of the second half. An 11-2 Gopher run over a four-minute span took what was a 46-44 Buckeye lead and turned into a 55-48 advantage for Minnesota with nine minutes to play.
The Buckeyes cut the lead to 59-57 with five minutes to go on Mitchell's eighth three-pointer but again, Minnesota answered with a 6-0 run to push the lead back out to eight. Mitchell's record ninth three-pointer knifed the lead to 69-66 with 1:27 to play but the Gophers were 3-of-3 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line over the final four minutes to hold-off the Buckeyes.