Ohio State then-freshman guard Janai Crooms (3) dribbles the ball up court in the first half of the game against Rutgers on March 3. Ohio State lost 66-56. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Ohio State women’s basketball faced off against Urbana in an exhibition game Sunday and came out with a dominating 81-point blowout.

A week away from their season opener against Valparaiso, the Buckeyes dismantled the Blue Knights 131-50 in the tuneup.

Ohio State started three of its seven freshmen: guards Jacy Sheldon and Kiertsan Bell and forward Aixa Wone Aranaz, along with sophomore guard Janai Crooms and sophomore forward Dorka Juhász. 

Head coach Kevin McGuff said the starting lineup will fluctuate as the season moves forward.

“Some of the kids may be better with certain matchups than others,” McGuff said. “We may be going game to game with what we’re trying to do with the rotations.”

Three of the freshmen finished Sunday with 20 or more points: Sheldon and Bell tied for the team-high at 25 and freshman forward Kaelynn Satterfield with 22.

The Buckeyes outscored the Blue Knights 66-25 in the first half. Satterfield led the team that half with 16 points and went 5-for-6 from the field.

Sheldon proved to be a key defender, with five steals and three blocks in the game.

Ohio State had nine total blocks against Urbana, forcing 27 total turnovers and scoring 49 points from the takeaways.

Crooms had five first half turnovers, but turned around her performance to finish with 14 points and eight assists.

Ohio State had an equally dominant second half, outscoring Urbana 65-25. Sheldon led the way in the second 20 minutes with 14 points. 

The Buckeyes continued to dominate with hard drives to the hoop, which drew fouls, but they went just 5-for-10 from the free-throw line.

With a game that got out of hand quickly, Sheldon said the Buckeyes knew they still had to concentrate on their own performance and not get caught up in how big the lead was.

“We focused a lot on staying focused with our play, rebounding, defense and some things we need to get better on,” Sheldon said. “As a whole we clicked offensively. With transition we got up the floor well, toward the ends we communicated a little better.” 

Eight new players took the floor for the Buckeyes Sunday. 

As the team develops chemistry and searches for leaders, Bell said it’s important the team works for each other and not for individual glory.

“I think our team chemistry is really great,” Satterfield said. “We can only go up from here.”

Ohio State’s eight fresh faces play their first regular season game for the Buckeyes Nov. 10 against Valparaiso.