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Ohio State women’s basketball bounces back against Michigan State

Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor

After losing back-to-back games to Nebraska and Minnesota, the Ohio State women’s basketball team needed a win to get back on track.
On Monday, the Buckeyes did just that, as they dropped Michigan State, 67-60 at the Schottenstein Center.
The win was in part due to contributions across the board from Buckeyes other than the usual solo scoring act of senior guard Tayler Hill. Five Buckeyes scored in double figures.
Freshman guard Ameryst Alston said this was the best cohesive effort by OSU all year.
“The ball was moving, (we) played together, it was a good game,” Alston said.
Last week, after a last-second loss to Minnesota, coach Jim Foster called out his post players for not producing as they should.
But this time around, the Buckeyes had an answer with their play in the paint.
Junior center Ashley Adams shot 80 percent from the field and led all scorers with 16 points, adding five rebounds and three blocks.
“(Adams and I) had a very good session,” Foster said. “That position has had all my attention for the past couple of days.”
OSU (15-12, 5-9 Big Ten), which is tied for ninth in the conference, received contributions from other playmakers as well. Alston went 7 of 8 from the field, dropping 15 points, five rebounds and one steal.
Senior guards Amber Stokes and Hill finished the night for a combined 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Hill was one of the five double-digit scorers of the night, making it her 60th consecutive game in double-figures, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the fourth longest in Division I.
Foster said he would be changing the lineup by replacing the power forward position with a smaller guard rotation.
“We’re vibing together,” Stokes said. “Coach has changed up the lineup. We have the chemistry and it showed in the game.”
That chemistry was apparent in the first half.
Shooting 42 percent from the field, the Buckeyes headed to the locker room at halftime with a seven point lead, 30-23.
The Buckeyes’ aggressive defense caused nine Spartan turnovers in the first half, leading to 15 points for the Buckeyes, half of its points in the first act. It proved to be too big of a hole for MSU to dig itself out of.
“Too late,” said Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant. “It was too late.”
MSU, though, had a productive second half, shooting 46 percent from the field on 16 of 35 shots.
But for every basket the Spartans made, the Buckeyes had an answer, shooting more efficiently at 64 percent from the field.
OSU maintained a consistent lead the second half, as both teams scored 37 points in the last 20 minutes.
For the first time in four games, it was a player other than Hill that led the Buckeyes in scoring.

But it was Hill who sent the Spartans home with a bitter taste in its mouth, stealing the ball and running it back for a layup with nine seconds to play. 

“They outplayed us today,” Merchant said. “It’s disappointing. I’m disappointed in my team and myself.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Illinois Thursday at 8 p.m. at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.  

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