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Women’s basketball: Ohio State looks to continue its Big Ten success against Iowa at home

Ohio State redshirt junior guard Linnae Harper waits for the offensive to run its motion against Illinois on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports Editor

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (21-5, 11-1 Big Ten) will look to extend its winning streak to eight this weekend against Iowa (15-9, 6-5 Big Ten).

The Buckeyes are coming off of a 96-68 win over Wisconsin last Saturday. With a week since their last game, the Buckeyes spent this week looking inward to improve themselves.

“When you’re playing, you don’t get the time to reflect to think on the small things you can improve on,” said redshirt junior guard Linnae Harper. “But we are grateful that coach let us get that time so when we start back playing everything will improve.”

McGuff elaborated on what has made the Buckeyes successful in recent weeks.

“We’re playing at a fast pace, moving the ball on offense executing the ball on offense making the extra pass which is generating a lot of open shots, which we are capitalizing on,” he said. “We’re also passing the ball making that extra pass better than we ever have.”

Although the Buckeyes are second in the country in rebounding, McGuff mentioned that the Buckeyes are still looking to improve in that aspect.

“Rebounding has been spotty here lately so we want to emphasize that in practice,” he said. “We got to hit them first and then get the ball.”

As the season is heading into its final stretch, Harper said that McGuff has emphasized mental discipline this week as well.

“As the season winds down we may be tired or our bodies may be sore, but coach has made big emphasis on this is the time where championship teams are made,” she said. “Trying to grind and fight through adversity and I think that is one thing he’s told us since we’ve been here. So just trying to push through and take that extra step so we can reach our goals.”

Looking forward to Iowa, McGuff said OSU is looking to slow down Iowa’s productive offense, while also working on the Buckeyes own offense.

“We’re trying to break down their offense, trying to take pieces of their offense and guard them effectively,” he said. “We’ve also worked on zone offense, they play a lot of zone so we have to make sure we can execute on the offensive end to make enough points.”

The Hawkeyes have three players averaging double figures. They are led by freshman forward Megan Gustafson (17.8 points per game), senior guard Ally Disterhoft (16.4) and sophomore guard Tania Davis (10.9). Gustafson and Disterhoft also lead the team in rebounding, with Gustafson grabbing 9.7 rebounds per game while Disterhoft follows with 5.7.

Junior guard Kelsey Mitchell is coming off of her third Big Ten player of the week award, averaging 27.5 points per game and 4.5 assists per game last week. OSU has scored 87 or more points in its last five games.

Tipoff against Iowa is set for noon on Sunday.

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