COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - With the rest of her team struggling from the outside, Kelsey Mitchell took over.
Mitchell scored 31 points to lead four teammates in double figures and No. 7 Ohio State beat Cleveland State 96-78 on Wednesday night.
The Buckeyes (2-1) won despite poor 3-point shooting from everyone except the junior All-American guard. Early in the fourth quarter her teammates were 0 for 11 from beyond the arc while she was 7 for 13. Finally, Sierra Calhoun hit a 3-pointer as Ohio State finished 8 for 27 from 3-point range.
Overall, OSU shot 51.9 percent from the floor.
''It never hurts to see the ball go in,'' Mitchell said.
Ohio State responded to a 92-80 home loss to No. 4 South Carolina on Monday by picking up the tempo and using its advantage inside. OSU led in rebounds 51-32 and had 60 points in the paint compared to 24 for Cleveland State.
''They're not very big so the emphasis was to get the ball around the basket with Steph and Tori, especially,'' Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. ''We wanted to take advantage of that.''
Ashanti Abshaw scored 25 points Khayla Livingston 14 for the Vikings.
''I was trying to minimize possessions because we knew they could score a lot of points in a hurry,'' Cleveland State coach Kate Peterson Abiad said of OSU. ''I was not happy with our quick shots early on. We talked about that at halftime and I think we settled into our offense in the third quarter.''
The Buckeyes led 51-34 at the half and extended the lead to 27 through three quarters.
''That's the best transition team I've seen in years,'' Peterson Abiad said.
The Vikings (1-1) won their opener, beating Evansville 66-62 on Saturday, and Peterson Abiad took positives from the loss to the Buckeyes.
''We raised the bar for us'' she said. ''Our expectations are we're going to be able to compete with the mid-major teams that we'll face.''
Cleveland State tied a Value City Arena record for 3-pointers made by an opponent with 14. Virginia Commonwealth also hit 14 on Nov. 23, 2014.
NEW ON THE BLOCK
The Buckeyes' Lewis is settling in as a freshman and set a career high with 12 points. ''Kiki's got a chance to be a great player here. You can see her talent,'' McGuff said. The two-time Illinois all-state player credits her teammates. ''They're there for me and keeping me up. The leadership on the team is a big key to me being comfortable.''
Cleveland State: The Vikings played their first ranked opponent since Green Bay in the 2011-12 season and it was the first top-10 team they've played since No. 7 Notre Dame in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. ''Some kids go through their entire career at the mid-major level never having played against a team of Ohio State's caliber,'' Peterson Abiad said.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes increased their record to 6-0 vs. Cleveland State. The most recent meeting was 68-54 victory on Dec 15, 2008.
Cleveland State: With two road games completed to open the season, the Vikings home opener is Saturday vs. Toledo.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes play the final of a four-game homestand against Long Island University Brooklyn on Saturday.
Ohio State Postgame Notes
- Every Buckeye in uniform on Wednesday saw action in the opening quarter
- Stephanie Mavunga posted her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
- Freshman Kiara Lewis had a solid game, posting season-highs of 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals.
- Kelsey Mitchell scored a game-high 31 points, marking the 16th time in her career with 30 or more points.
- Mitchell was 7-of-14 from long range for her 20th game of 5 or more threes and her 6th career game of 7 or more.
- Freshman Tori McCoy notched a season-high 12 points
- Ohio State had 22 assists in the game and have now won 13-straight games when dishing-out 20 or more assists
- The Buckeyes were whistled for just nine fouls in the game, 20 fewer than the previous game against South Carolina
- The 14 three-point field goals made by Cleveland State tied an OSU opponent record in a game in Columbus, matching VCU's 14 on Nov. 23, 2014.
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