Ohio State dominated Nebraska in a full team effort, beating the Cornhuskers 95-75 for its fifth straight win. Good ball movement allowed the Buckeyes to rack up 23 assists, leading to three different OSU players scoring in double digits.
OSU coach Kevin McGuff mentioned how the Buckeyes ball movement has improved overall against man and zone defenses. He also gave praise to leading scorer and junior guard Kelsey Mitchell.
“Kelsey did a good job moving the ball around,” he said. “She made others around her better today, and I think the way we shot the ball early on, there were a lot of great passes we just didn’t make those shots and it could’ve been higher.”
Mitchell picked up 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Mitchell also passed an OSU milestone on Sunday, moving into third place on the program’s all-time scoring list.
“To see people like Linnae (Harper) hit shots, Stephanie (Mavunga) hit shots, Sierra (Calhoun) hit shots, it’s good for our team,” Mitchell said. “I want to be one of those people giving them those assists.”
In the first quarter, the Buckeyes were having trouble making shots. However, in the last two minutes, OSU put together a 10-0 run and capitalized on steals from its full-court press.
In the second, the Buckeyes kept their steady lead. OSU kept the pressure up on the Huskers, forcing a total 14 first-half turnovers. Offensively, struggles pursued as the Buckeyes only hit 14-of-40 shots from the field and 3 of 16 from beyond the arc, but held a 40-29 score at halftime.
“We came out and we had a lot of effort defensively, we just couldn’t make any shots in the first half,” McGuff said.
In the third, the Scarlet and Gray found their shot to break away from the Huskers. The Buckeyes went on an 18-4 run, and shot 66.7 percent from the field. The Buckeyes were also perfect from the charity line and from the 3-point line, hitting 7 of 7 from the line and 2 for 2 from 3-point range.
The Cornhuskers came out swinging in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 13 with two minutes left to play. However, they couldn’t catch up to OSU’s high octane offense.
OSU kept up its high second-half scoring percentage throughout the fourth, and continued to get to the line, forcing two Nebraska players to foul out.
Mitchell said that the difference in the third quarter came from taking note of the errors committed in the first half.
“Coach McGuff puts big emphasis on what’s not right,” she said. “Once we realize and focus on the things we didn’t do in the first half, we always try to do a good job of buckling down in the second half.”
The Buckeyes look to kept their streak alive, playing at home against Penn State at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1.