Mitchell's Late Three Sends Buckeyes To B1G Championship Game
HOFFMAN, ESTATES, Ill. - Kelsey Mitchell hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left in overtime to lift No. 3-seed Ohio State to a 91-85 victory over No. 2-seed Iowa in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament Saturday evening.
The Buckeyes advance to the championship game on Sunday to face top-seeded Maryland. The game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. ET.
Mitchell scored a game-high 29 points and had two big three-pointers in the final 1:20 of the overtime period. She now has 794 points this season which is a new Ohio State single-season record. She topped Jantel Lavender's old mark of 774 which she set during the 2010-11 season.
Freshman Alexa Hart had perhaps her best game of the season, finishing with a season-high 24 points and eight rebounds. Like Mitchell, Hart set her own school-record in the game as she swatted five shots giving her 116 on the season. That tied Jessica Davenport's school-record for blocks in a season.
For the second-straight night, sophomore Shayla Cooper notched a double-double this time with 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was her sixth double-double of the year and her fourth in the last five games.
Ameryst Alston, Asia Doss and Cait Craft all finished with nine points on the night. Alston had a great all-around game as in addition to her nine points, she totaled six rebounds, five assists and a career-high five steals.
Bethany Doolittle's lay-in with three seconds left in regulation tied the game. That was two of her team-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and six blocks. Samantha Logic scored 12 points, dished-out 10 assists and had seven rebounds but fouled-out just before the end of regulation which was a big blow to the Hawkeyes in overtime.
After going 0-for-10 in the first half from long range, the Buckeyes made 7-of-12 in the second half and overtime. Iowa was just as good from deep, canning 10-of-22 attempts but missed their only two attempts in the extra frame.
Both teams got out and ran right from the jump. Most of the Buckeye offense came through Hart as she scored 14 of her 24 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Buckeyes went on a 6-0 run and led by as many as seven at 33-26. Iowa had a couple of runs of its own and the first half ended with the teams tied 37-37.
The second half also featured runs by both teams. The Buckeyes took a five-point lead right out of the locker room but Iowa came back and took its largest lead of the game at 57-50 with 11:39 to go. Craft and Doss canned three-pointers to help bring the Buckeyes back.
Iowa again took a seven-point edge with just under seven minutes to play. Mitchell converted an old-fashioned three-point play and then Cooper banked in a three-pointer on the next possession to cut the lead to one. On the next possession, Hart finished a pass from Cooper and the Buckeyes had a 76-75 lead with 3:37 left.
The teams traded misses from the free throw line in the final minute of regulation which left the Buckeyes with a two-point edge with four seconds left. Doolittle's bucket off an in-bounds play sent the game into overtime.
Each team scored on their first possession in overtime but then came up empty in their next five before Mitchell hit a three with 1:20 left. Whitney Jennings then made a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left cutting the lead to 86-85.
With the shot clock winding down, Doss took the ball on the wing, drove to the middle and found Mitchell at the top of the key for a huge three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining. She then added two more free throws after a defensive stop to provide the final margin.
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