PREVIEW: #5/5 Ohio State vs. Rutgers

Jan. 8, 2016



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#5/5 Ohio State vs. Rutgers

Date: January 10, 2016 | Time: 2:00 p.m. | Venue: Value City Arena | Location: Columbus, Ohio

Online: BTN Plus

Radio: 1460 AM

Online Coverage: Game Notes | Watch Live | Live Stats | Twitter Updates |

Setting The Scene

  • Ohio State is riding its longest win streak of the season and will look to keep it rolling Sunday when it hosts Rutgers.
  • Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. from Value City Arena.
  • The Buckeyes have won their first three B1G games for the first time since the 2009-10 season and come into Sunday's contest with an 11-3 record overall after a win over Indiana last Thursday.
  • After opening the year 1-2, Rutgers has won 10 of 12 games and comes into the contest at 11-4 overall and 2-1 in the B1G following a win over Wisconsin on Thursday.
  • The game will be streamed live online on BTN Plus.
  • The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com. 

Noting The Buckeyes

  • The Buckeyes are second in the conference and fourth in the country in scoring at 86.2 ppg.
  • Ohio State is ranked 5th in the latest AP poll, marking the first time being in the top-5 since Jan. 31, 2010.
  • The Buckeyes have won a season-high seven games in a row and are forcing 16.7 turnovers per game during the streak.
  • OSU is averaging over 20 points per game off opponent turnovers.
  • Ohio State grabbed 50 rebounds against Indiana on Jan. 7, marking the first 50-rebound game for the team since Dec. 14, 2010.
  • Alexa Hart is shooting 76.7 percent (46-of-60) from the floor over the last eight games.
  • Senior Ameryst Alston and sophomore Kelsey Mitchell were each named to the preseason Wooden and Naismith Award Watch Lists.
  • Mitchell is second in the country at 24.6 ppg and Alston is 46th at 18.6 ppg. They are the third-highest scoring duo in the country.
  • When Mitchell and Alston each score 20 points in a game, the Buckeyes are 17-3, including 7-1 this season.
  • Alston is 7th in school history with 1,822 career points. She is 90 points away from 6th.
  • The Buckeyes have faced five top-10 teams already this season, including all four of last year’s Final Four teams.

Rutgers Snapshot                          

  • The Scarlet Knights have had a bit of an up-and-down first half of the season.
  • Rutgers opened with a pair of early losses to Seton Hall and St. John’s before winning four-straight. After a loss to Florida State, the Scarlet Knights reeled-off five-straight wins before falling at Iowa last Monday.
  • Rutgers comes into the game with an 11-4 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the conference after dispatching of Wisconsin 61-41 last Thursday.
  • The Scarlet Knights get after teams defensively as they lead the conference in scoring defense (52.7 ppg) and are second in defensive field goal percentage at (34.5).
  • A key piece to Rutgers’ defensive success is in the middle with center Rachel Hollivay. Hollivay leads the B1G and is 9th in the country at 3.1 blocks per game.
  • Offensively, Kahleah Copper scores 17.3 ppg and Tyler Scaife is not far behind her at 16.7 ppg. Scaife also leads the conference and is 4th in the country in free throw percentage, making 41 of her 45 attempts (91.1 percent).

Series History vs. Rutgers

  • Sunday will be the 10th meeting all-time between Ohio State and Rutgers. The Buckeyes hold a slim 5-4 lead in the series.
  • The most recent meeting came last year as it was the teams’ first meeting as B1G opponents. The Buckeyes pulled away with a 85-68 victory.
  • The teams have met twice in the NCAA Tournament. Rutgers won the battle in 2005 and the Buckeyes came out on top in 1993 en route to their lone Final Four appearance.
  • Ohio State is 4-1 all-time against Rutgers in games played in Columbus and 1-2 in games at Rutgers.

McGuff vs. Rutgers

  • Head coach Kevin McGuff’s is 1-0 all-time against Rutgers and legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer. The Buckeyes downed Rutgers in the teams’ only meeting last season.

Last Year vs. Rutgers

  • Ohio State couldn’t have started 2015 any better as it rolled past No. 16 Rutgers 85-68 on New Year’s Day at Value City Arena.
  • The Buckeyes used two big runs, one in each half, to take control of the game. The defense sprung both runs as Ohio State forced 21 Rutgers turnovers and held the Scarlet Knights to just 35.4 percent from the floor.
  • Kelsey Mitchell finished with game-highs of 33 points and six assists. She was also 11-of-11 from the free throw line.
  • Ameryst Alston continued her steady play, scoring 21 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds.
  • Asia Doss and Lisa Blair were the other two Buckeyes in double-figures as each notched 10 points. Doss made a season-high two three-pointers while Blair pulled-down seven rebounds and blocked five shots.
  • Betnijah Laney led Rutgers with a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Scaife added 17 points.
  • After missing their first nine field goal attempts, the Buckeyes went on a 21-4 run to grab an early first half lead.
  • Rutgers then knifed the 13-point halftime deficit down to nine points before a 13-0 Buckeye run, keyed by eight points from Mitchell, put the game away.