The Ohio State women’s basketball team opened the season Tuesday night against No. 22 South Florida, falling in defeat with a final score of 71-47.
South Florida freshman point guard Sydney Harvey, senior wing Kitija Laksa and freshman center Beatriz Jordao were constant thorns in the side of the Buckeyes Tuesday night, pouring in 50 of the 71 points with a combined 15-17 on free throw attempts, signifying the Buckeyes jitters and possible lack of discipline on defense to begin the season.
The Buckeyes committed over 20 fouls in the game, some on calls that left the players visibly frustrated, but redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro recognizes the importance of fighting through those moments.
“Once you get in foul trouble it takes away from your aggressiveness,” Santoro said. “That’s what was happening. But we have to learn how to play through that because not every game are we gonna be able to go out there and play as physical as we want. We have to learn how the refs are calling that game and go out and adjust accordingly.”
Through the first four minutes, the Buckeyes looked frustrated during a sequence which seemingly needed to be saved with a timeout, as the team committed four fouls along with a travel call on freshman forward Dorka Juhasz.
The frustrations continued as the Buckeyes went into the second quarter trailing 21-11.
Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff’s team continued to fight through the second quarter during a stretch lasting until 2:11 left in the half in which the Bulls offense didn’t score a FG for over five minutes, but the Buckeyes shot 25.8 percent from the field in the first half compared to 33.3 percent from USF.
Ohio State went into the half down 37-19, its largest deficit of the night to that point.
Juhasz earned a double-double in her first collegiate game with a 10-point, 10-rebound effort in the opener, but said she sees more room for improvement.
“I think everybody was nervous. It was the first game,” Juhasz said. “It’s like a whole new team. So I think it was just about that, and sometimes our concentration was not really on point, but I feel that like we can really improve on that.”
The Buckeyes went on a 6-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 63-43.
In the end, the Bulls handedly defeated the Buckeyes by 24 points.
Ohio State faces Detroit Mercy on Friday at 7 p.m