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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The four day lay-off didn’t do much to slow No. 1 seed Ohio State as the Buckeyes continued to roll, knocking off No. 9 seed Rutgers 82-57 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.
Ohio State advances to face the winner of the game between Iowa and Minnesota in Saturday’s semifinals.
Kelsey Mitchell scored 22 points and had four assists to lead four Buckeyes in double-figures. Stephanie Mavunga added 18 points and six rebounds while Sierra Calhoun chipped in with 14 points and three steals.
Senior forward Alexa Hart made her first start of the season and responded with 10 points and six rebounds. Hart started in place of senior guard Asia Doss who missed the first game of her career with an ankle injury.
Ohio State took control of the game by dominated the middle two quarters. The Buckeye defense held Rutgers to just 14 combined points in the second and third quarters and opened up a 36 points lead through three quarters.
Tyler Scaife led the Scarlett Knights with 13 points.
The Buckeyes shot 63 percent in the first quarter but Rutgers held its own on the glass and OSU only led 25-19 at the end of one. The score remained close midway through the second quarter and that’s when the Buckeye defense picked up. Ohio State finished the quarter on a 9-0 run over the final five minutes to take a 41-26 lead into halftime. Rutgers was 1-of-12 shooting and had two turnovers over that closing span.
Mavunga opened the third quarter by scoring the first six points and any chance of a second half comeback by the Scarlett Knights was squashed.
- Asia Doss (ankle injury) missed the first game of her career. She had played in all 134 games of her career prior to Friday.
- This was Alexa Hart’s first start of the season and the first since Jan. 19, 2017 vs. Wisconsin.
- Hart scored 10 points which is just her fifth game this season with 10 or more points
- Kelsey Mitchell extended her NCAA record streak to 88 consecutive games of at least one three-point field goal.
- Mitchell reached 20 points for the 25th time this season and 105th time of her career.
- Ohio State has held its last nine Big Ten opponents under 70 points, the longest such stretch under head coach Kevin McGuff.
- Ohio State closed the second quarter on a 15-2 scoring run. The Buckeyes held Rutgers without a point for the final five minutes of the quarter and forced the Scarlet Knights into 1-of-12 shooting during that span.
- Stephanie Mavunga scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds for Ohio State. Ohio State scored the first six points of the second half, all from Mavunga.
- Leading 41-26 at the half, Ohio State outscored Rutgers 28-7 in the third quarter to increase their lead to 36 at 69-33. After leading Rutgers 25-19 at the end of the first quarter, Ohio State outscored Rutgers 44-14 in the second and third quarters combined.
- Ohio State shot 20-of-23 (87 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Buckeyes advance to the semifinals for the fifth-straight season and will face the winner of the game between Iowa and Minnesota. Ohio State’s semifinal will start at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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