The No. 18 Ohio State women’s basketball team (19-5, 8-3 Big Ten) came out with a 68-55 victory against Wisconsin (9-16, 2-10 Big Ten) Saturday afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin. After dropping three straight games, the Buckeyes have bounced back and reeled off three wins in a row.
The Badgers were well within striking distance in the fourth quarter, but Ohio State ended their hopes of an upset by maintaining the lead and holding a 24-17 fourth-quarter advantage.
Ohio State threatened to run away with an easy win in the first quarter. The Buckeyes jumped out to a 22-9 lead after one quarter and led by as many as 16 points in the opening quarter. Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga came out hot, dropping nine points in the first quarter. She finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
The Badgers got back into the game with runs in the second and third quarters. Wisconsin went on an 18-2 run stretching from the second quarter to the third quarter to take a 36-35 lead. However, Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell made a layup to reclaim the lead with 5:08 left in the third. Mitchell finished the game with 16 points.
The Buckeyes struggled shooting from deep throughout the game, hitting just 4-of-18 3-pointers. Ohio State badgered Wisconsin on the defensive end, picking up 14 steals and forcing 17 turnovers.
Freshman forward Marsha Howard led Wisconsin with 20 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Cayla McMorris added 15 points.
Losing the lead in the third quarter wasn’t the most frightening moment for the Buckeyes. Redshirt junior Makayla Waterman went down with a neck injury with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter. She was carted off and taken to a local hospital.
“Makayla was taken to a local hospital for precautionary evaluation,” athletic trainer Chalisa Fonza said in a statement an hour after the game ended. “As far as we know, she has full function in all of her extremities and is doing well.”
Editor’s note (4:33 p.m.): This article has been updated a statement from Ohio State on Waterman’s condition