The Buckeyes picked up their second conference win in the past three days with a 10-point victory Sunday.
Ohio State (10-6, 3-2 Big Ten) dropped 47 points in the second half to top Penn State (7-9, 1-4) 80-70 at the Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State began to pull away in the third quarter, outscoring Penn State 33-24 and closing out the quarter on a 22-8 run in the final five minutes.
The Buckeyes finished with 22 assists –– nine of which coming from sophomore guard Janai Crooms. She added 10 points and six rebounds off of the bench.
“Janai was outstanding with the ball in her hands,” head coach Kevin McGuff said. “She controlled the game while she was out there”.
Penn State’s backcourt of junior guard Kamaria McDaniel and senior guard Siyeh Frazier came alive in the second half, and they both finished with 22 points.
“They’re great players,” McGuff said, “Those two guards are as good as anyone in the league”.
The Buckeyes used their size to take advantage of Penn State’s four-guard starting line up.
“We have a [taller] line-up, so we can always have an advantage,” Juhasz said. .
Ohio State sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz kept up her hot 3-point shooting spree as she shot 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, finishing with her third double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
“I was feeling good with the three-point shots in the warmup,” Juhasz said. “I was feeling confident to shoot them”..
Sophomore forward Aaliyah Patty added 13 points of her own along with six boards.
“I believe in our post players,” McGuff said, “It helps give us balance in what we do”.
Ohio State’s defense finished with 12 total steals –– four of which coming from Crooms, and another three from Juhasz.
The Buckeye bench proved crucial for Ohio State’s success Sunday, as it outscored the Nittany Lions’ reserves 32-4.
“[They] do everything we need to be successful,” McGuff said.
Guard Kierstan Bell, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, used a big third quarter to propel herself to 17 points off the bench.
“Kierstan came in and gave us some electric minutes,” McGuff said, “We really needed her baskets”.
Ohio State closes out a three-game-in-six-day stretch in which it went 2-1.
“It’s been a long week,” McGuff said, “But we’ve got to embrace that and play through it”.
The Buckeyes look ahead to a few days of rest before they return on Thursday night for a 6 p.m. tipoff against Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan.