Buckeyes Fall to Spartans, 82-68
Jan. 26, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s basketball team fell to the visiting Michigan State Spartans, 82-68, Sunday afternoon at Value City Arena in front of 6,020 fans who braved the treacherous weather conditions in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Raven Ferguson led the Buckeyes with a career-high 20 points, three assists and three steals off the bench. Ameryst Alston scored 16 points and had four assists while Cait Craft chipped in with 12 points.
The Buckeyes were off to a great start early on when three straight field goals by Ferguson put Ohio State up, 20-13, with 9:55 left. Michigan State, however, countered with the defensive play of 6-foot, 7-inch Madison Williams off the bench, who blocked six first-half shots. After going up by seven, the Buckeyes missed their next nine field goals and MSU went on a 13-0 run over the next 4 minutes to go up 26-20. Ohio State kept it close with the play of Alston, Craft and Darryce Moore, but trailed 37-32 at the half.
“I thought we started off really well and we were aggressive early on,” head coach Kevin McGuff said. “Madison Williams came in and did a great job defensively around the basket. But what was disappointing was that we stopped moving on the perimeter, too. I think those blocked shots affected us mentally because I think we still could have attacked the basket more, drew some fouls and got to the line and that’s on us. To their credit, she did a really good job.”
The second half saw much of the same as Ohio State never found a rhythm offensively. The Spartans hit three 3-pointers within the first 5 minutes to help push the lead to 50-36 with 14:52 left. The Buckeyes tried to make a run, but never cut the gap to less than nine points the rest of the way.
Ferguson scored 13 second-half points for the Buckeyes. Moore finished with eight points and led OSU on the boards with eight caroms. But MSU had the upper-hand inside, blocking 11 shots and winning the battle on the boards, 40-34.
“It was a physical game and they were a little tougher than us, and that’s disappointing,” McGuff added. “We talked about it before the game that we had to play a really physical, tough game. And we weren’t awful, but they were better in that department and I think that ultimately was the difference.”
Tori Jankoska led MSU with 25 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Aerial Powers added 20 points and had four steals on the afternoon. Williams finished with seven blocked shots and eight rebounds.
The loss drops the Buckeyes to 3-4 in the Big Ten and 13-10 overall, while the Spartans improve to 5-2 and 13-7.
The Buckeyes are back in action Thursday at home vs. Illinois. Game time is 7 p.m. ET on BTN.com.