The Ohio State women’s basketball team (9-11, 5-6 Big Ten) was looking for a big win on the road against Northwestern (14-8, 7-4 Big Ten) to get back into the Big Ten race, but a series of miscues by the Buckeyes led to their downfall in a 76-59 loss.
During a back and forth first quarter, the Buckeyes took a 12-10 lead with less than two minutes remaining off a layup by freshman forward Dorka Juhász. This was their second lead of the game, but it would end up being their last.
Juhász led the team with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added seven rebounds.
While Ohio State and Northwestern shot similarly from the floor, 38.5 and 40 percent respectively, the Wildcats were consistently troubling the Buckeyes during their possessions by forcing turnovers. Ohio State had 20 turnovers to Northwestern’s nine.
Nine of the Buckeyes wasted possessions came in the first quarter, where they quickly found themselves in a deficit.
The Buckeyes made it close again early in the second quarter when redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro was fouled on a made layup. Santoro completed the three-point play to make it a one-point game, but that was the closest Ohio State would get for the rest of the afternoon, and the Buckeyes went into the locker room down 34-27 at half.
Santoro finished with 10 points, one of three Buckeyes to finish in double digits along with freshman guard Janai Crooms, who added 10 points.
Northwestern opened up the third quarter with a 9-3 run to extend its lead. A 3-pointer by redshirt senior guard Adreana Miller, in addition to layups on consecutive possessions, made it a seven-point game, but the Wildcats continued to punish the Buckeyes’ missed shots and fouls.
Northwestern was 16-of-19 from the charity stripe, benefiting from the 18 team fouls by Ohio State.
The Buckeyes found a spark in the fourth quarter, but it came too late, as they found themselves down 15 as the final 10 minutes began.
With 4:49 remaining, the Buckeyes closed the game out on a 13-0 run to make the final 76-59. The Wildcats won by 17 but led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes only shot 27.3 percent from 3 and were out rebounded 39-34 with Northwestern grabbing 16 offensive boards. The Wildcats were able to move the ball effectively against Ohio State, racking up 14 assists.
Ohio State will return home to face Penn State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.