MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Life on the road is never easy and it took a hot shooting second half for Ohio State to pull away with an 88-76 win over Minnesota Thursday evening at Williams Arena.
The win was the fourth-straight for the Buckeyes and the second this season over Minnesota. Ohio State is now 18-5 overall and 8-1 in the conference.
Kelsey Mitchell led three Buckeyes in double-figures with 25 points. She made two three-pointers in a key 10-2 second quarter run and two more threes to give the Buckeyes an 11-point advantage with five and a half minutes to play.
Shayla Cooper had a great game, finishing with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting. The 18 points were her second-most this season and they came with zero turnovers.
Stephanie Mavunga notched her fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. She also blocked three shots and had a couple of steals.
Minnesota was led by its All-Big Ten guard Carly Wagner who poured in 34 points.
The Buckeyes built an eight-point lead in the second quarter and held that lead for most of the game. Minnesota cut the lead to three on a couple of occasions but each time the Buckeyes had an answer. In the fourth quarter, OSU was able to pull away by going 10-of-16 from the floor (62.5 percent) and committing just one turnover.
Neither team shot well in the opening quarter as Minnesota led just 14-13 at the end of the first. With the score tied 22-22 three minutes into the second quarter, Mitchell’s first three-pointer of the night sparked a 10-2 Buckeye run that helped open up the game. Mitchell also added a jumper and another three while Cooper supplied the other two points. The Buckeyes would hold that eight-point edge through halftime at 39-31.
Both teams shot better in the third but Ohio State wasn’t able to shake the Gophers loose until an 8-2 run late in the fourth put the game away.
The Buckeyes return home this Sunday for their first match this year with Nebraska. The game will tip off at Noon and will be televised on BTN.