LINCOLN, Neb. – 12th-ranked Ohio State had three players score in double-figures and it picked up its ninth straight win with an 87-69 victory at Nebraska on Thursday night.
Kelsey Mitchell led the Buckeyes with 27 points on 5-of-9 from long range. She has now crossed the 2,400 point mark in her career.
Sierra Calhoun made three shots from long range and was 4-of-5 from the floor overall to finish with 13 points. Freshman Tori McCoy didn't miss a shot from the floor and scored 12 points and tied her season-high for the second-straight game with four blocks.
Guards Kiara Lewis and Linnae Harper also made some key buckets in the second half to stop the Huskers' runs. Both players finished with nine points. Senior Shayla Cooper scored eight points and led the team with nine rebounds.
Jessica Shepard missed her first 10 shots of the night but managed to finish with a team-high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Ohio State shot over 50 percent for just the third time in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes made 10 threes but attempted just 12 free throws which was the fewest since going 3-of-9 against UConn on Dec. 19.
Nebraska rebounded from shooting just 28 percent in the opening half to finish the game at 36.5 percent and scored 46 points in the second half.
The Buckeyes made their first three three-pointers of the game and raced-out to a 15-6 lead and would hold the nine-point edge through the first quarter. The second quarter started slow for each team but the Buckeyes scored 13 points in the final three and a half minutes to push the lead to 40-23 at the break.
Nebraska came out of the break and scored the first seven points of the second half and cut the lead to 10 on a couple of occasions. But an 8-1 Buckeye run midway through the quarter reestablished a comfortable OSU lead.
The Huskers climbed back within 12 with another good start to the fourth quarter but just like in the third, the Buckeyes had an answer. Mitchell made a pair of three-pointers to push the lead back 77-61 with 4:30 to play.
The Buckeyes also clinched no worse than a two seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament with tonight’s win and Michigan’s loss at Indiana.
The win sets up a showdown for first place in the Big Ten on Monday night when the Buckeyes host conference leader Maryland. The Terrapins are 14-0 in the conference and have lost just one game this season. The game will start at 7 p.m. and will televised on ESPN 2.
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