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Women’s Basketball: No. 14 Ohio State’s first-half domination leads to easy 88-54 win against Northwestern

Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell delivers a pass as she crashes into a defender during the Buckeyes game against the Boilermakers on Feb 18. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor

The No. 14 Ohio State women’s basketball team closed out its final home game of the season with an 88-54 victory against Northwestern. The Buckeyes have won five straight home games, and seven of their last eight games overall.

A 19-4 run midway through first quarter saw Ohio State (23-6, 12-3 Big Ten) jump out to a 28-13 first-quarter lead to keep Northwestern (10-19, 3-12 Big Ten) at bay early.

Redshirt junior guard Sierra Calhoun finished the quarter with eight points after she shot 3-for-3, and 2-for-2 from 3. Ohio State finished the quarter hitting its last six field goals, helping it to take its 15-point lead heading into the second quarter. Calhoun finished with 14 points and 3 assists.

Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell led the team with 22 points, while redshirt senior forward Linnae Harper added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Following Ohio State’s first quarter success, it built from there and cruised the rest of the game. It held a 50-28 advantage heading into the second-half, in large part due to its shooting success at 61 percent and steady defense.

The Buckeyes’ lead increased as high as 29 points with a 7-0 run in the third quarter helping to extend the lead. A 9-0 run by Northwestern cut the gap to 20.

Leading 66-42 heading into the fourth quarter, Ohio State outscored Northwestern 22-12 in the closing quarter to put the game away. It limited the Wildcats to just 21.4 percent shooting in the fourth quarter with Ohio State securing its seventh straight conference win.

In their final home game, the Buckeyes shot 60 percent and outscored Northwestern 48-28 in paint points.

Northwestern junior forward Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah recorded her 17th double-double. She led the team in scoring and rebounds with 23 points and 14 rebounds. The Wildcats were limited to 35.5 percent shooting and turned the ball over 19 times. As a result of those turnovers, Ohio State outscored Northwestern 14-2 in fastbreak points.

Ohio State concludes its regular-season play with a game against Penn State at noon Sunday. The Buckeyes won the previous meeting against the Nittany Lions this season 94-64.

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