Following last year’s loss to Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the No. 16 Ohio State women’s basketball team (22-6, 11-3 Big Ten) found redemption against Purdue (17-11, 8-6 Big Ten) in its first meeting of the season. The Buckeyes came away with a 73-60 win behind 26 points from senior guard Kelsey Mitchell.
With Ohio State’s victory against Purdue, the team pushed its Big Ten winning streak to six. The team has won six out of its last seven, with its lone defeat coming to South Florida.
After scoring only nine points in last year’s Big Ten tournament game against Purdue, Mitchell had a bounce-back performance on her senior day. She hit 9-of-17 shots, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
“I know last year I was still really, really immature in regards to when things got going rough, I kinda folded,” Mitchell said. “I think with a little bit of film, a little bit more losses throughout the course of this year has helped me battle when things got tough for our team and for myself.”
A strong third quarter from the Buckeyes made the difference. Purdue gained a 34-33 lead, its first lead of the game, with 8:50 left in the third quarter. But Ohio State quickly responded with its second 10-point run of the game. The team’s strong third quarter play bled into the fourth quarter with Ohio State outscoring the Boilermakers by an additional five points.
Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga and Mitchell combined for 17 of the team’s 23 points in the quarter. Mavunga finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Buckeyes took an early 10-0 lead and ended the first quarter leading by five points.. Purdue chipped away at the deficit with runs of its own and the Buckeyes held a 33-30 lead heading into the third quarter in large part due to Mitchell’s 12 first-half points.
“The biggest thing we talked about halftime, I thought in the first half we settled for some quick shots, late in the second quarter,” McGuff said. “Then in the second half we did a great job attacking the basket, moving the ball, and just getting some balance in what we do.”
Purdue was limited to just 12 points on 5-for-16 shooting in the fourth quarter. As a team it shot just 34.8 percent (23-for-66). Freshman guard Karissa McLaughlin led the Boilermakers in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-16 shooting. There was a major disparity in points in the paint with the Buckeyes holding a 40-24 advantage.