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Women’s Basketball: No. 9 Ohio State decimates Memphis 100-69 behind Mavunga’s 36 points

Ohio State redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga (1) looks for a way to the basket during the Buckeyes’ game against Idaho on Nov. 15 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes’ bested Idaho 99-56 for the program’s 1,000th victory. Credit: Emma Steele | Senior Lantern Reporter

The Memphis women’s basketball team (1-4) had no answer for redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga. She scored 36 points and led No. 9 Ohio State (5-1) to a 100-69 victory in the first round of the Play4Kay Showcase in Las Vegas.

Mavunga added 16 rebounds and recorded her fifth double-double of the season. It did not take long for her to make an impact. Mavunga scored 19 points of her team’s 35 first-quarter points, more than Memphis’ entire team had in the opening quarter (17 points). She finished the game having made 15-of-20 shots and drained all five free-throw attempts.

Mavunga became the second player in the program to have at least 35 points and 16 boards since 2006. Jantel Lavender had 36 points and 16 rebounds in 2008.

Head coach Kevin McGuff was disappointed in his team’s rebounding effort in the Buckeyes’ 85-76 win against Washington on Sunday, but they responded well against Memphis. Ohio State outrebounded the Tigers 45-33 and pulled down 15 offensive rebounds. The Buckeyes scored 48 points in the paint.

Ohio State hit 52 percent of its shots, while Memphis converted on just 38 percent of its shots from the field. The Tigers hit just 3-of-22 3-point attempts and the Buckeyes drill 6-of-20 3s.

Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell finished second in the game with 20 points and led the contest with six assists. The preseason All-American did not score in the first quarter and did most of her damage in the second half, scoring 15 points in the third and fourth quarters combined.

This was McGuff’s 100th win as Ohio State’s head coach. Senior forward Alexa Hart scored her 1,000th career point during the second half of the game.

Forward Alana Davis and guard Brea Elmore scored 16 points apiece to lead the Tigers in scoring.

The Buckeyes will take on Florida Gulf Coast at 8:30 p.m. Friday evening in the second round of the early-season tournament. The Eagles defeated Depaul 89-84 in overtime on Thursday. Ohio State will play a final game on Saturday before heading back to Columbus.

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