Hot Start Leads Buckeyes To 85-73 Win At Wisconsin
Shayla Cooper scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds
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MADISON, Wisc. - Ohio State jumped out to an early 15-2 lead and answered every one of Wisconsin's threats in an 85-73 wire-to-wire victory Thursday night in the Kohl Center.
The win was the second-straight road victory for the Buckeyes who improve to 14-7 on the season and 6-3 in the conference. Wisconsin drops its fifth-straight game and is now 7-13 overall and 3-7 in the B1G.
Ohio State had four players in double-figures led by freshman Kelsey Mitchell's 23 points. Mitchell also tied for the team lead with four assists. Her back court running mate Ameryst Alston hit three three-pointers and finished with 19 points and four assists.
In the front court, sophomore Shayla Cooper and Alexa Hart each turned in solid performances. Cooper had 17 points and six rebounds while Hart notched her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. This was Hart's third-straight game with more than 10 rebounds.
Asia Doss and Cait Craft each played significant roles in the win as well. Doss had seven points, four rebounds and a team-high four steals. Craft had seven points, five rebounds and four assists but it was her mirroring of Nicole Bauman down the stretch in the second half that really helped seal the victory.
The Badgers were paced by a career-high 31 points from Bauman who hit eight three-pointers. But she didn't hit an over the final 7:45.
The Buckeyes raced out of the gate and built an early 15-2 lead. Mitchell scored seven of the first 15 points while the Badgers were just 1-of-11 from the floor. The Badgers would get back into the game from beyond the arc and cut the lead to 24-18 with Mitchell on the bench with two fouls.
But the Buckeyes answered with a 10-0 run to shove the lead back out to 34-18. Doss had a three, Craft had an old-fashioned three-point play and Cooper added a jumper in the spurt. Ohio State would hold that edge the rest of the half and led 46-33 at the break.
The Buckeyes opened-up as much as a 17-point lead five minutes into the second half but three-point shooting continued to keep the Badgers within striking distance. Bauman's eighth three-pointer of the night cut the lead to 67-59 with 7:46 to play.
The Badgers got as close as seven down the stretch but all night, the Buckeyes answered every Wisconsin push and didn't let the hosts get any momentum.
- Ameryst Alston scored her 1,300th career point. She is currently 18th in school-history with 1,301 career points.
- This was the Buckeyes first win in the Kohl Center since a 77-61 victory on Dec. 30, 2011.
- Ohio State won the battle on the boards 40-35 and is now 6-0 when holding the rebounding edge.
- Alexa Hart had her third-straight game of 10 or more rebounds and she also recorded her sixth double-double of the season.
- The Buckeyes shot 50 percent in the game. It was their sixth game this season making at least half of their shots.
- The Buckeyes return home to face Michigan State next Monday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m.
- The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network
- Monday's game starts a stretch of four games in eight days for the Buckeyes.