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Women’s basketball: Ohio State shakes off rough first quarter for 61-56 win over Purdue

OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell guards the ball in the Buckeyes 89-56 victory over Canisius on Dec. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

The Ohio State women’s basketball team struggled again through their second-straight Big Ten matchup. The Buckeyes shot 32.3 percent from the field, but were bailed out by 26 bench points to help pick up a 61-56 victory over Purdue.

In the first quarter, the Buckeyes surrendered seven turnovers while only picking up six points, a season low for OSU. Coach Kevin McGuff’s team earned just one assist in the first quarter, while allowing Purdue to pick up 20 points.

An early full-court press by OSU kept things close, before Purdue was able to find holes in the Buckeyes’ defense and stretch its lead to 14 points.

Attacking the hoop in the second, OSU and junior guard Kelsey Mitchell heated up. Of the Buckeyes 34 points at halftime, 12 came from the charity stripe, all scored in the second quarter.

Outscoring Purdue 28-16 in the second, the lead was cut to just two. Backed by hot shooting, the Boilermakers headed to the locker room with a 48.3 percent mark from the field and the advantage.

Heading into the fourth quarter with the game still in the air, freshman forward Tori McCoy stuffed a Purdue shot and picked up a layup on the other end. Later, McCoy swatted away another, before Purdue was called for a technical foul for arguing the block should have been a foul.

Redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga picked up two late field goals to seal the deal for the Buckeyes. OSU is now 15-5 and 5-1 in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes will return to Columbus on Tuesday to face Wisconsin at 7 p.m.

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