After an 11-0 run to start the game, the Ohio State women’s basketball team never looked back.
OSU (2-0, 0-0) captured its first home victory of the season, beating Florida Atlantic, 91-88 Sunday.
Sophomore guards Cait Craft and Ameryst Alston led the Buckeyes in scoring with 29 and 28 points, respectively. Craft’s 29 points marked a career high.
Compared to last year when she only scored 33 points all season, Craft attributes her success to finally getting the chance to play.
“Last year, I wasn’t healthy for the majority of the year,” Craft said in a press conference after the game. “I sat out with a concussion for two weeks, played for a little bit, then had a back injury for the last few months of the season. So this year, I’m 100 percent healthy and haven’t had any problems yet.”
Craft joked about how she was a better shooter than her brother, guard for OSU’s men’s basketball team, senior Aaron Craft.
“Aaron claimed that he beat me in the last game of ‘PIG,’ which is correct, but he does not always beat me, he lies,” Craft said. “My win-to-loss ratio in shooting games with Aaron is way higher than his.”
On Sunday, the largest lead the Buckeyes held was 23 points in the first half. FAU was able to battle through the game and cut that lead to one point, twice in the final two minutes. Senior center Darryce Moore was able to convert a 3-point play after being fouled on a layup with less than a minute to go. FAU hit a three with 35 seconds left to bring the different back to one. But Alston hit two free throws and to lock up an OSU victory. FAU’s desperation shot at the buzzer was waved off.
Alston said she felt no pressure shooting with the game on the line.
“Well I knew I was going to make them,” Alston said laughing. “I always look at them as free throws, they’re free.”
The Buckeyes, plagued with injury, only played seven women. OSU was also without junior guard Raven Ferguson who was suspended for the first three games of the season for a violation of team rules.
Coach Kevin McGuff said fitness was definitely a factor in allowing FAU back into the game.
“It’s not ideal to play a game and only play with seven people,” McGuff said. “We definitely got tired. I think we let it affect us too much. We got tired because our players play hard … We got to push through.”
McGuff also announced that junior guard Shelbi Honeycutt will be transferring to a school in her home state of Arkansas.
“She decided she is going to leave and get closer to home,” McGuff said. “Hopefully somewhere where she might be afforded a little more playing time. But she’s a good kid and we certainly wish her the best.”
The win was McGuff’s first home win as a Buckeye.
OSU’s next game is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Schottenstein Center.