Seniors go out on top, defeat Michigan, 66-55

Go Buckeyes! Tayler Hill scored 20 points in her final home game as a Buckeye.
Go Buckeyes!
Tayler Hill scored 20 points in her final home game as a Buckeye.
Go Buckeyes!

March 3, 2013

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BTN Highlights

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State was bound and determined to send its seniors out in style Sunday and they made sure to do just that with a 66-55 win over Michigan Sunday at Value City Arena -- its third straight win over an NCAA Tournament-caliber team.

The win moves Ohio State to 7-9 in the Big Ten and 17-12 overall, good enough to get the attention of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

In front of a season-high 7,793 screaming fans, the Buckeyes controlled the game from the outset as senior Tayler Hill scored a game-high 20 points and recorded three assists, three steals and zero turnovers in her final home game as a Buckeye.

Raven Ferguson added 13 points and Ameryst Alston and Ashley Adams each had 12 for the Buckeyes, who are now 11-0 on Senior Day under head coach Jim Foster.

Senior Amber Stokes was her usual self on the defensive end, making life miserable on Michigan's backcourt all afternoon. She finished with six points, four assists and a steal while battling foul trouble in the second half.

Michigan's Rachel Sheffer kept Michigan close with her play inside, scoring 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds for the Wolverines. But each time Michigan would make a run, Ohio State responded on the offensive end as the Buckeyes shot 54 percent for the game, assisted on 18 of 25 field goals and committed a season-low six turnovers.

Ohio State also improved to 6-2 in the month of February and held its eighth straight opponent to 60 points or less.

The Buckeyes will now await the Big Ten Tournament pairings and are expected to be in the 8-9 game at 7 p.m. ET Thursday in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The official pairings will be announced later today.

Postgame Notes

  • The Ohio State senior class of Emilee Harmon, Tayler Hill, Brianna Sanders and Amber Stokes were recognized postgame. The group has combined for 97 wins during the past four years with a Big Ten regular season championship, two tournament championships and three NCAA tournament appearances, which included a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2011.
  • The Buckeyes are 11-0 on Senior Day under head coach Jim Foster and the Buckeyes have won the last 13 home regular season finales overall.
  • Ohio State leads the all-time series with Michigan, 49-9, including a 26-3 lead in Columbus. OSU has won 16 of the last 19 overall.
  • Ohio State improves to 17-4 this season when holding opponents to 60 points or less.
  • Hill, Raven Ferguson, Ashley Adams and Ameryst Alston scored in double figures, with Hill pacing the group with 20 points. Ferguson had 13 and shot 5-for-7, while Alston and Adams had 12 each on 5-for-6 and 6-for-9 shooting, respectively.
  • Hill has scored in double-figures in 62 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the fourth longest in Division I.
  • Hill, the Big Ten's career active scoring leader, has 1,967 career points, good for fifth on OSU's all-time scoring list. She is 33 points away from becoming the fifth Buckeye to score at least 2,000 points.
  • Hill has played in 40+ minutes in 14 of her 15 Big Ten games, including a career-high 46 in the win over Wisconsin.
  • Adams is 21-of-31 from the field in her last three games with 45 points, 18 rebounds, nine blocks and seven assists.

    Postgame Quotes
    Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
    On adjusting to Michigan's defense
    "They played a lot of zone. We were patient, took our time and didn't force [shots]."

    On Michigan's Kate Thompson
    "She's a great shooter and she's a mismatch size-wise. You have to know where she is at all times."

    On the Buckeyes' three-game win streak
    "That's probably the best we've done. I like the balanced scoring. Folks are doing their jobs and taking care of business."

    On the senior class
    "They have dealt with some adversity - personal and relative to injuries - and hung tough. They learned it doesn't always go well. You lose a game like the Minnesota game and some folks are going to use the 'woe is me' approach and I think this group did just the opposite of that. They came out and were resilient."

    Amber Stokes, Ohio State senior guard
    On the win
    "We needed the confidence-booster going into the Big Ten tournament, so this is great."

    On her teammates
    "Everyone was moving the ball well and getting good looks. Overall everyone played really well today."

    Tayler Hill, Ohio State senior guard
    On her last home game
    "This was a big game for us as a team; not just the seniors. We needed this win to finish strong. We loved the atmosphere and the support was amazing."

    On her teammates
    "My teammates are beginning to be more aggressive on the offensive end. When everyone is playing aggressively, space opens up and we can capitalize on that."

    Emilee Harmon, Ohio State senior forward
    On the team
    "We realized we have been struggling with different things for the games we have lost. However, we know when we come together we can make things happen."