PREVIEW: #5/5 Ohio State at Minnesota

 

Feb. 23, 2016

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#5/5 Ohio State at Minnesota

Date: February 24, 2016 | Time: 8:00 p.m. | Venue: Williams Arena | Location: Minneapolis, Minn.

ONLINE: BTN Plus

Radio: 1460 AM


 

 

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

Setting The Scene

  • Ohio State and Minnesota will hook up Wednesday evening in Minneapolis in what figures to be a shootout between two of the nation's top-5 scoring offenses.
  • Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET from Williams Arena.
  • The Buckeyes are coming off a record-setting performance on Senior Day last Sunday and are looking for a share of the Big Ten regular season title.
  • After winning four-straight games, the Gophers have lost two-straight and are looking to make a statement with a big final week of the regular season.
  • The game will be streamed live online via 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 15-1 in Big Ten play and are one win away from clinching a share of the Big Ten regular season title.
  • This would be the Buckeyes' 14th Big Ten regular season championship and the first since 2009-10.
  • Ohio State is on a season-high 11-game win streak which is the longest streak since the 2012 season.
  • Alexa Hart is two blocks away from 200 for her career. She is currently fourth in school-history in career blocks.
  • OSU leads the conference and is second in the country in scoring at 87.3 ppg.
  • The 87.3 ppg puts the Buckeyes on pace to break the school's single-season scoring record of 83.2 ppg which was set by the program's only Final Four team of 1992-93.
  • Ohio State is fourth in the country in shooting percentage at 48.9.
  • The Buckeyes finished the regular season with a 14-1 record at home, winning its last 14-straight games.
  • Alexa Hart is second in the country in shooting percentage at 66.0 percent.
  • Since the start of conference play, Hart leads the conference in shooting percentage at 69.1.
  • Senior Ameryst Alston and sophomore Kelsey Mitchell were each named to the Late-season Wooden Top 20 as well as Naismith Award Semifinalists.
  • Mitchell was also named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Midseason watch list and the Nancy Lieberman Award Top 10.
  • Mitchell is fourth in the country at 24.6 ppg and Alston is 37th at 19.5 ppg. They combine for 44.1 ppg which is the 2nd-highest total in the country.
  • Alston is fourth in school-history with 2,087 career points. She is just the sixth Buckeye to reach the 2,000 point milestone.
  • When Mitchell and Alston each score 20 points in a game, the Buckeyes are 22-3, including 12-1 this season.
  • In just over a season and a half, Mitchell is already 15th on OSU's career scoring chart at 1,538 points.
  • Shayla Cooper has a team-high tying 8 double-doubles this year and has made 13 of her last 19 three-point attempts.
  • The Buckeyes have scored over 90 points 13 times this season and are 13-0 in those games.

Minnesota Snapshot                          

  • The Gophers come into the final week needing a couple of resuming building wins and have the chance against the top-2 teams in the Big Ten.
  • Minnesota has lost its last two games and has a record of 18-9 overall and 10-6 in the conference.
  • The Gophers do boast one of the best scorers in the country in senior Rachel Banham. Last Sunday, she became the Big Ten's all-time leading scorer and is averaging 41.6 ppg in the last five games.
  • Banham is second in the country in both points per game (27.5) and three-pointers made (98).
  • Her backcourt mate Carlie Wagner is averaging 19.1 ppg and the two combine for 46.6 ppg which makes them the highest scoring duo in the country.
  • Shayne Mullaney is the third Gopher in double-figures at 10.1 ppg and tops the team with 126 assists.
  • The Gophers are third in the conference in scoring at 83.7 ppg and top the B1G at 9.0 three-point field goals per game.

Series History vs. Minnesota

  • Ohio State and Minnesota are meeting for the 71st time on Wednesday.
  • The Buckeyes hold a 54-16 lead in the all-time series but Minnesota has won four of the last six meetings.
  • OSU leads 20-10 in games played in Minneapolis but have lost the last three games in Williams Arena.
  • The Gophers have also won the last two meetings between the teams in Columbus.
  • The last two Ohio State wins have come in the 2013 and 2015 Big Ten Tournaments.
  • The Buckeyes scored 117 points in a 117-64 win at Minnesota on Jan. 12, 1996. That is tied for the most points OSU has ever scored in a B1G game, matching last Sunday's Illinois game.

McGuff vs. Minnesota

  • Head coach Kevin McGuff is 2-2 all-time against the Gophers.
  • McGuff guided Xavier to a victory at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas in 2009 and then dropped a 74-57 decision at Minnesota in his first season in Columbus.
  • Last year, he split a pair of meetings, losing in Columbus but winning in the Big Ten Tournament.

Scoring Barrage Waiting To Happen

  • Wednesday's game will feature the top-2 scoring tandems in the country.
  • Minnesota's pair of Rachel Banham (27.5) and Carlie Wagner (19.1) are tops in the country at 46.6 ppg. The Buckeye duo of Kelsey Mitchell (24.6) and Ameryst Alston (19.5) are second at 44.1 ppg.
  • The Gophers lead the B1G in three-pointers per game at 9.0 while the Buckeyes are second at 8.5.
  • Banham is second nationally with 97 three-pointers and Mitchell is third with 96.
  • Ohio State has topped the 90-point mark 13 times this season and the 100-point mark three times, including last Sunday's 117 point output.
  • Minnesota has had nine games of 90 or more points and five games of 100 or more including last Sunday's 106-point game at Michigan State.
  • The Buckeyes are second in the country in points per game at 87.3 and Minnesota is fifth at 83.7.

Hey! I Know You Guys

  • Minnesota head coach Marlene Stollings and associate head coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins both have Ohio State ties.
  • Stollings played two seasons for the Buckeyes in 1993-94 and 1994-95 before transferring and Dawkins was one of the best to ever don the Scarlet and Gray.
  • Dawkins helped lead the Buckeyes to three Big Ten Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances from 1985-89.
  • Stollings is a Chillicothe, Ohio native. She averaged over five points per game and made 52 three-pointers in her two seasons.
  • During her playing career, Dawkins earned Kodak All-America First Team and Street & Smith All-America First Team honors, Chicago Tribune Player of the Year recognition, All-Big Ten First Team accolades.
  • She was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
  • Dawkins would go on to win four gold medals, three as a player and one as a coach, with USA Basketball after she left Columbus.

Last Year vs. Minnesota

  • The Buckeyes and Gophers split a pair of meetings last season with Minnesota winning in Columbus on Jan. 15 and Ohio State winning in the quarterfinals of the B1G Tournament.
  • In the first meeting, Kelsey Mitchell made a school-record nine three-pointers but No. 23 Minnesota didn't give an inch down the stretch and held on for a 76-72 victory.
  • Mitchell scored a game-high 36 points and also had team-highs of seven rebounds and seven assists. However, the Cincinnati, Ohio native fouled-out with 1:11 left which was a blow to the Buckeyes' comeback effort.
  • Ameryst Alston found her spot in the middle of the Minnesota zone and scored 18 points. She pulled-down six rebounds and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.
  • The Gophers were 17-of-20 in the second half from the free throw line and out-rebounded the Buckeyes 60-40 for the game. Those two stats allowed Minnesota to hold the upper hand after taking the lead for good with 12:24 to go.
  • Shae Kelley had a career-night for the Gophers, notching career-highs of 29 points and 18 rebounds.
  • In the Big Ten Tournament, Mitchell scored 29 points and Alexa Hart and Shayla Cooper both scored 17 points and pulled-down 11 rebounds as Ohio State downed Minnesota 83-71 in the B1G Quarterfinals.
  • Amanda Zahui B. had 25 points, 11 rebounds and a Big Ten-tournament record 11 blocks to lead the Gophers. Her triple-double was just the second in B1G Tournament history.
  • Ohio State made nine of its final 14 shots of the first half and took a 40-28 lead at the break. The Buckeyes would then hold that double-digit lead for the majority of the second half.

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