Buckeyes Comeback For 86-77 Victory Over Clemson
Kelsey Mitchell is averaging a Big Ten best 28.8 points per game
Kelsey Mitchell scored 26 of her season-high 35 points in the second half to help lead the Buckeyes to an 86-77 comeback victory Thursday in the first game of the 2014 Paradise Jam.
The Buckeyes improve to 3-2 on the season and will face Wichita State on Friday at 1:15 p.m. ET. Clemson falls to 3-2 with the loss.
Mitchell struggled in the first half, shooting just 2-of-13 from the floor and had just nine points. But she was 7-of-9 in the second half and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. For the game, Mitchell was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line which tied Tayler Hill's school-record for free throw percentage in a single game.
Junior Ameryst Alston battled foul trouble for the first time this season but still finished with 27 points on 13-of-15 from the free throw line. She is now just one point away from becoming the 31st Buckeye to record 1,000 points in her career.
Clemson was led in scoring by Nikki Dixon who finished with 24 points and seven assists. Nylia Myers-Jamison had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The Buckeyes shot just 41 percent from the floor but made a season-high 32-of-41 free throws. Ohio State also forced Clemson into a season-high 23 turnovers and converted them into 30 points.
The Buckeyes' defensive pressure at the onset allowed them to take an early 16-6 lead. Clemson had seven turnovers in the first six minutes. The Tigers then chipped away at the lead the rest of the half and scored at the buzzer to take a 36-35 advantage at halftime.
Ohio State was scoreless the last 3:25 of the half and had three turnovers. Alston led the team with 10 points but picked up her third foul with six minutes to play in the half.
The second half started-out back-and-forth until Alston picked up her fourth foul. Clemson went on a run to take its largest lead of the game at 65-57 with 7:36 left in the game.
Mitchell then took over. She scored 12 points in the Buckeyes 15-2 run over a three-minute span to put Ohio State in front 72-67 with just under five minutes to play. She was 7-of-7 from the line during the spurt.
The Buckeyes would eventually push the lead to as many as nine and would not trail the rest of the way.