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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Kelsey Mitchell scored 22 points and No. 7 Ohio State used a big third quarter to take command and beat Rutgers 67-58 on Sunday.
Ameryst Alston scored 10 of her 15 points in the decisive quarter as the Buckeyes (15-4, 7-1 Big Ten) outscored Rutgers 24-7 to break away from a halftime tie.
Alexa Hart added 15 points and eight rebounds for Ohio State, which won its third straight and for the 11th time in 12 games, this time using more defense than offense.
Kahleah Copper had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Rutgers (12-8, 3-5), which lost its third in a row and had an eight-game winning streak at home snapped. The Scarlet Knights have not beaten a Top 10 team since knocking off Auburn in 2009.
The 67 points were the second fewest this season for Ohio State, which was No. 2 nationally in scoring at 87 points. No. 1 Connecticut held it to 56.
Ohio State had scored 80 or more points in its last 11 games, the longest streak of 80-point game in school history.
Mitchell, who came into the game No. 2 in the nation in scoring at 25.4 points, finished 8 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 9 from long range.
Alston, the Buckeyes' second leading scorer at 18.6, had just three points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half. The senior guard found her game in the third quarter, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and two baskets in the opening six-plus minutes to help transform a 30-all halftime tie into a 45-32 lead.
Rutgers got within 48-37 on a jumper Briyona Canty with less than two minutes to play but Ohio State scored the final six points to push the lead to 54-37 on a layup by Cait Craft in the closing seconds.
Rutgers, which shot 52 percent from the field in the first half, was just 2 of 9 from the field in the third quarter and had seven turnovers.
Ohio State was never threatened in the final 10 minutes.
This was Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer's second game back with the team after missing a game at Nebraska to be with her ill mother in Altanta.
Ohio State: Alston has 1,910 career points and need just two more to move into No. 6 in school history
Rutgers: Stringer changed her starting lineup, resting center Rachel Hollivay and guard Briyona Canty. Hollivay had started all 19 and Canty 18. Victoria Harris and Khadaizha Sanders got the starts in their place.
Ohio State: hosts Northwestern on Thursday.
Rutgers: at Indiana on Wednesday.
Ohio State Individual Notes
- Ameryst Alston scored 15 points and now has over 1,900 in her career. She is just the seventh player in school-history to reach that mark and she is now seventh all-time with 1,910.
- Alexa Hart blocked a pair of shots in the game, giving her a block in each of the last nine games and a block in all but one game this season
- Hart scored 15 points and has now has been in double-figures scoring in seven-straight games.
- Kelsey Mitchell scored a game-high 22 points and has now scored 20 or more points in 17 games this season
- Asia Doss nabbed a season-high seven rebounds
Ohio State Team Notes
- Ohio State swept the season series with Rutgers and has now won four of the last five meetings between the two teams
- Rutgers leads the conference in scoring defense (55.7 ppg) but the Buckeyes scored a combined 157 points in the two games this season for an average of 78.5 ppg
- The 7 points Rutgers scored in the 3rd quarter were the second fewest the Buckeyes allowed in a quarter this season
- The Buckeyes had their school-record streak of 11-straight games of 80 or more points stopped
- The Buckeyes shot 50 percent or better from the floor (27-of-54) for the 11th time this season. They are 10-1 in those games
- The team has made a three-pointer in 96-straight games
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