The Ohio State women’s basketball team (7-8, 3-3 Big Ten) overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 76-71 in overtime against the Penn State Nittany Lions (9-8, 2-4 Big Ten).
This victory marks the Buckeyes’ third consecutive conference win since losing five straight in late December and early January.
Freshman guard Janai Crooms led the way for the Buckeyes. After scoring 10 or more points in her past three games, Crooms exploded on Thursday, scoring a career-high 27 points along with eight rebounds.
The game was close throughout the first half. Neither team could gain a significant advantage and Ohio State maintained a narrow two-point lead heading into halftime.
The Nittany Lions came out roaring in the third quarter, dominating on both sides of the ball with a 13-point run to take what appeared to be control of the game.
However, the Buckeyes were not to be deterred. Ohio State mounted a massive comeback as the game, going on a 22-4 run in the fourth quarter after trailing 63-45 to send the game to overtime.
The run featured offense from several key players. Freshman forward Dorka Juhasz scored 10 points with two 3 pointers in the run, capping off a double-double performance of 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande and redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman each had a 3 of their own, and Crooms scored the game tying layup with less than 15 seconds to play to send the game to overtime.
Grande scored eight points on the night with 12 assists, and Waterman added 10 points of her own.
Overtime was a slow start for the Buckeyes. They did not score until there was 1:14 left in the extra frame, but redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro hit a 3 to tie it at 70, and then another layup from Crooms gave Ohio State the lead which was never rescinded.
The Buckeyes’ defense held the Nittany Lions to four points in overtime, and the five-point win kept Ohio State’s win streak rolling.
Ohio State will attempt to bring their winning streak to four this Sunday against Michigan in Ann Arbor. Tip off is set for 3:00 p.m.