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Women’s Basketball: Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell named Big Ten Player of the Year by conference’s coaches

Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) takes the ball down the court in the game against Penn State on Jan. 31. Ohio State won 94-64. Credit: James King | Sports Director


A day after the Ohio State women’s basketball team clinched the outright Big Ten title with a win against Penn State, the Big Ten honored the main reason for its success the past four seasons.

The conference’s coaches selected Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell as the Big Ten Player of the Year for the third time in four years. She was also named conference player of the year in 2015 and 2017.

The media selected Iowa forward Megan Gustafson as Big Ten Player of the Year instead of Mitchell. Gustafson tore up the Buckeyes in a win on Jan. 25, dropping 29 points.

In the regular season, Mitchell averaged 24.4 points per game, the second most in the conference behind Gustafson, on 46.1 percent shooting and 40.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc. She also managed 4.1 assists per game and 3.2 rebounds per game.

She maintains the longest streak in the history of the NCAA — 86 games — in which she knocked down a 3-pointer. Mitchell has both knocked down and attempted more career 3-pointers than anyone in NCAA history.

On Sunday, she passed former Baylor forward Brittney Griner to have the third-most points in NCAA history. Mitchell has scored 3,286 points and is within 108 points of passing former Southwest Missouri State guard Jackie Stiles to become the second-highest career scorer.

A preseason All-American, Mitchell has a chance to become the first four-time All-American in program history. She was a first-team All-American in 2016 and a second-team All-American in 2015 and 2017.

Best in the Big Ten

Mitchell also earned a spot on the first-team All-Big Ten team. She was joined by redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga, who became a first-team All-Big Ten selection by both coaches and media after earning a spot on the second team last year. Mavunga averaged a double-double in the regular season for the second year in a row with 16.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

Both the coaches and players selected redshirt senior guard Linnae Harper as a second-team All-Big Ten selection. She also earned a spot on the conference’s All-Defense team. The 5-foot-8 guard averages 15.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Senior guard Asia Doss and redshirt junior guard Sierra Calhoun were named honorable mention by the coaches.

The Buckeyes will begin their postseason when they take on the winner of Rutgers/Purdue at noon Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

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