The Indiana Hoosiers came into their game against the Ohio State women’s basketball team undefeated and ranked in the top-25 for just the second time in team history.
They left Assembly Hall with a loss to the unranked Buckeyes.
OSU sophomore guard Ameryst Alston led all scorers and tied a career high with 29 points as the Buckeyes took down the No. 22 Hoosiers, 70-51, Saturday.
Coach Kevin McGuff was not shy in his praise of his star guard after the victory.
“She (Alston) was in attack mode for 40 minutes tonight,” McGuff said in a press release following the game. “We are a different team when she is playing with that type of aggressiveness.”
The Buckeyes also got quality minutes from junior guard Raven Ferguson, who came off the bench to record a career-high 18 points.
“This was Raven’s best game all year,” McGuff said. “She generated a lot of offense for herself and her teammates.”
The efforts of Alston and Ferguson also made an impression on Indiana coach Curt Miller.
“The one-on-one ability by Ameryst and the one-on-one ability by Raven Ferguson was the big difference in the game tonight,” Miller said in a postgame video for Indiana athletics. “They created havoc with their penetration.”
The OSU defense was a big factor in the victory, as it held the Hoosiers to just 28.8 percent shooting from the field.
“I thought we were particularly good on the defensive end today and I think our players did an excellent job executing what the game plan was and playing with great intensity,” McGuff said. “Our communication was better and we were just much, much better on the defensive end.”
Another area of success for the Buckeyes was scoring inside, where the Buckeyes outscored Indiana 38-14 in the paint.
“Ohio State’s big,” Hoosiers senior center Simone Deloach said in a postgame video. “They did a really good job of getting the ball inside and … passing out of the post too.”
The game seemed to be in hand midway through the second half as OSU led 56-37 with 10:46 remaining.
But the Hoosiers then scored 11 straight to cut the lead to eight with just more than eight minutes left.
The crowd at Assembly Hall roared, but the Buckeyes had an answer.
The Buckeyes finished the game on a 14-3 run in the final eight minutes to seal a victory, much to the delight of McGuff.
“That was really great to see,” McGuff said. “They certainly could have crumbled and quit doing the things that allowed us to get the lead we had prior to that run.”
The win over Indiana gave the Buckeyes their second road victory this season, the other coming against West Virginia Nov. 8 when they beat the Mountaineers 70-61.
“We still have a long way to go,” McGuff said. “But this was a good performance for us.”
OSU is scheduled to travel to Penn State Thursday. Tipoff between the Buckeyes and No. 14 Nittany Lions is set for 7 p.m.