PREVIEW: #5/5 Ohio State vs. #24 Northwestern
#5/5 Ohio State vs. #24 Northwestern
Date: January 14, 2016 | Time: 8:00 p.m. | Venue: Welsh-Ryan Arena | Location: Evanston, Ill.
Radio: 1460 AM
Setting The Scene
- Ohio State is heading to Evanston, Ill., for the first time in almost three years to face the Northwestern Wildcats on Thursday.
- Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET from Welsh-Ryan Arena.
- The Buckeyes come into Thursday's game with a 4-0 mark in the conference and a 12-3 record overall.
- Northwestern is looking to right the ship after having lost four of its last six contests. The Wildcats are 12-4 on the season and 1-3 in B1G play.
- The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Lisa Byington and Stephanie White will have the call.
- 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 86.5 ppg.
- Ohio State is ranked 5th in both polls and currently has a record of 63-11 as a top-5 team.
- The Buckeyes have won a season-high eight games in a row and are forcing 16.8 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 72.9 percent (51-of-70) from the floor over the last nine 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 25.0 ppg and Alston is 46th at 18.8 ppg.
- When Mitchell and Alston each score 20 points in a game, the Buckeyes are 18-3, including 8-1 this season.
- Alston is 7th in school history with 1,843 career points. She is 69 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.
- The Wildcats opened the year with 10-straight victories but since then, they have lost four of the last six.
- NW comes into the game at 12-4 overall and 1-3 in the B1G with its lone win coming at home on Jan. 3 3 against Nebraska.
- The Wildcats are led by a quartet of players who are all averaging better than 14 points per games.
- Outside of the top four, no other Wildcat is averaging more than 4.1 ppg.
- Nia Coffey is averaging a double-double as she leads the team at 18.6 ppg and is grabbing a B1G-best 11.1 ppg.
- Sharp-shooter Maggie Lyon has made 35 three-point field goals and is second on the team at 15.6 ppg.
- Christen Inman has a solid 3.07 assist-to-turnover ratio and is scoring 15.3 ppg.
- Ashley Deary leads the conference with 100 assists and 74 steals to go along with 14.2 points per game.
Series History vs. Northwestern
- The Buckeyes and Wildcats are meeting for the 60th time with Ohio State holding a 42-17 edge in the series.
- The Bucks have dominated the series as of late, winning 24 of the last 26 meetings dating back to 2000.
- The only two NW victories during that stretch came in 2011 when the Wildcats swept the season series.
- Ohio State is 18-10 all-time in games played in Evanston.
- The Buckeyes have won five-straight in the series.
McGuff vs. Northwestern
- Head coach Kevin McGuff is 3-0 all-time against Northwestern
- The Buckeyes won twice in McGuff's first season against NW and then took down the Wildcats in the team's only meeting last year in Columbus.
Something has to give..........Or Not
- Ohio State and Northwestern come into Thursday's game as two of the worst rebounding teams in the conference as well as two of the best teams in turnover margin.
- The Wildcats have a -2.9 rebounding margin while the Buckeyes are not much better at -2.5.
- Somebody has to get a rebound right??
- But when they do get the ball, both teams value it and don't like their opponents to have it for very long.
- Northwestern is tops in the league in turnover margin at +8.1 while the Buckeyes are second at +5.1.
- Northwestern is turning its opponents over an average of 20.1 times per game. The Buckeyes season-high for turnovers in a game is 20.
Last Year vs. Northwestern
- Ohio State jumped out to a 9-0 lead and would never trail in a 73-64 victory over No. 25 Northwestern on Jan. 4, 2015 at Value City Arena.
- The Buckeyes took a 10-point lead early in the second half and held on as Northwestern cut the deficit to one point on a couple of occasions.
- Down the stretch, the Buckeyes went on a 14-3 run to take control of the game.
- Kelsey Mitchell again led Ohio State with 23 points. It was her 12th 20-point game this season and she also led the team with five assists.
- Shayla Cooper came off the bench and scored a then career-high 19 points and pulled-down a team-high nine rebounds.
- Ameryst Alston was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.
- Nia Coffey led the Wildcats with a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. But she fouled-out with 4:14 to play in the game which came right in the middle of the Buckeyes' decisive run.
- Ohio State won the rebounding battle 42-38.
- The Buckeyes shot a season-best 94.7 (18-of-19) from the free throw line with all 19 attempts coming in the second half.
- The game concluded a stretch for the Buckeyes of facing four-straight ranked teams and they came out with a 3-1 record.