No. 12/9 Ohio State at Rutgers
February 26, 2017
Rutgers Athletic Center – Piscataway, N.J.
1460 AM or Online
Setting the Scene
- • Ohio State will be looking for at least a share of its 15th Big Ten Championship on Sunday when it travels to Rutgers for a meeting with the Scarlet Knights.
- Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. from the Rutgers Athletic Center.
- This is the only meeting between the two teams this year after having met three times last season.
- Ohio State comes flying into the game winners of 10-straight and having just knocked-off No. 2 Maryland 98-87 last Monday.
- Rutgers opened the conference season 3-3 but has since lost nine-straight including a 60-38 setback at Northwestern on Thursday.
- The game will be televised on ESPN2. Roy Philpott and Brooke Weisbrod will call the action.
- The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
What's at Stake
- With a win, the Buckeyes would secure a share of their 15th Big Ten championship.
- No other team in the Big Ten has more than nine.
- This would be the first championship for Ohio State since 2010 when they won the last of six-straight crowns (2005-10).
- A win would also secure the Buckeyes the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament as they would hold the head-to-head tie-break with Maryland.
Noting The Buckeyes
- Ohio State is ranked 12th in the AP poll and 9th in the latest coaches poll.
- The Buckeyes have won 10-straight games which is one shy of their high from last season.
- Ohio State has matched its school-record from earlier this season with 87 or more points in eight-straight Big Ten games.
- The win over No. 2 Maryland was the Buckeyes first over a No. 1 or No. 2 ranked team since March 7, 1993.
- Kelsey Mitchell has scored 2,442 career points and is third all-time in OSU history and sixth all-time in Big Ten history in scoring.
- Mitchell has scored 20 or more points in each of the last nine games.
- Mitchell is also the school’s all-time three-point leader with 350 career three-pointers.
- Mitchell leads the Big Ten and is fifth in the country in scoring at 23.4 ppg.
- Sierra Calhoun has made 11 of her last 14 three-point attempts.
- The Buckeyes took a blow as center Stephanie Mavunga suffered a foot injury in practice on Feb. 9.
- At the time of her injury, Mavunga was atop the Big Ten and was seventh in the country in rebounding at 11.3 rebounds per game.
- Shayla Cooper has averaged 16.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 4.0 apg and is shooting over 53 percent in the last three games since Mavunga went down.
- The Buckeyes went three-straight games without scoring more than 75 points but in each of their last eight games, the Buckeyes have scored 87 or more.
- After scoring a school-record 86.0 ppg last season, the Buckeyes are third in the country in scoring at 87.6 ppg.
- Rutgers comes into the game with a record of 6-22 overall and 3-12 in the conference.
- The Scarlet Knights opened Big Ten play at 3-3 but has since lost nine in a row, including a 60-38 loss at Northwestern last Thursday.
- Rutgers' conference wins have come over Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. The MSU win came immediately after the Spartans handed Ohio State its lone conference loss.
- The Scarlet Knights are averaging 50.6 points per game which is the fourth-lowest in the country.
- Rutgers has also attempted the fewest free throws of any team in the country.
- Defensively, the Scarlet Knights only allow 61.2 ppg which third-best in the Big Ten.
- Shrita Parker leads the team in scoring at 11.5 ppg. Kandiss Barber is second on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.7 rpg).
Series History vs. Rutgers
- Sunday will be the 13th meeting all-time between Ohio State and Rutgers. The Buckeyes hold a 8-4 lead in the series.
- After splitting the first eight meetings in the series, the Buckeyes have won the last four games between the two teams.
- The two teams met three times last season and the Buckeyes bucked the conventional saying of “It’s hard to beat a team three times in the same season” by beating the Scarlet Knights all three times.
- 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 5-1 all-time against Rutgers in games played in Columbus and 2-2 in games at Rutgers.
McGuff vs. Rutgers
- Head coach Kevin McGuff’s is 4-0 all-time against Rutgers and legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer.
- All four wins have come while he’s been the head coach at Ohio State.
Last Year vs. Rutgers
- Three wins in the same season over the same team is hard to due but the Buckeyes were able to come away with three Ws last year against Rutgers.
- Ohio State won both ends of the home-and-home series during the regular season and then dispatched of the Scarlet Knights in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
- The first meeting was in Columbus on Jan. 10. The Buckeyes raced-out to an early lead and led wire-to-wire in a 90-78 victory.
- Kelsey Mitchell scored a game-high 31 points and dished-out a then season-high six assists
- Rutgers came into the game allowing a B1G leading 52.7 ppg but allowed a season-high 90 points to the Buckeyes.
- Ohio State forced 18 turnovers and had a season-high 24 fast break points compared to just eight for Rutgers.
- The Buckeyes had to work a little harder for the second victory. Ohio State used a 9-0 run at the start of the third quarter to gain some breathing room and would go on to a hard-fought 67-58 victory at Rutgers on Jan. 24.
- The slow start may have been due to being shut-in their hotel all day the previous day by a large snowstorm.
- The Buckeyes broke a 30-30 halftime tie by outscoring Rutgers in the third quarter 24-7. The Scarlet Knights were never able to threaten in the fourth quarter.
- OSU shot 50 percent from the floor (27-of-54) on the day.
- Mitchell had 22 points while Hart and Alston each checked-in with 15 points.
- The third and final meeting was in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on March 4 in Indianapolis.
- The Scarlet Knights led 31-26 at halftime but the Buckeyes would outscore them 47-27 in the second half for a 73-58 victory.
- Kelsey Mitchell stole the show, scoring a Big Ten Tournament record 43 points on 8-of-13 from long range.
- Alston added 12 points but suffered a costly sprained right wrist in the second quarter.
- Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife combined to score all but seven points in the game for the Scarlet Knights.
Mitchell Sets Record vs. Rutgers
- In the team’s last meeting, a 73-58 Buckeye win in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Big Ten Tournament, Kelsey Mitchell got hot and set a tournament scoring record.
- Mitchell scored a Tournament single-game record 43 points, topping fellow Buckeye Jantel Lavender’s old mark of 37 points.
- Mitchell was 8-of-13 from long range and also pulled-down six rebounds.
- The Buckeyes needed that performance as they lost fellow Big Ten first-teamer Ameryst Alston to a wrist injury early in the third quarter.