A fourth-quarter collapse doomed the Ohio State women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Ohio State (17-10, 10-6 Big Ten) had its six-game win streak snapped, falling to Rutgers (19-8, 9-7) 59-57. The Buckeyes scored just seven points in the final frame as Rutgers held Ohio State without a field goal.
Rutgers junior guard Arella Guirantes scored more than half of the Scarlet Knights’ points, finishing with a career-high 36 points on 15-of-21 from the field.
Guirantes outscored the Buckeyes 13-7 in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning mid-range jumper with 4.3 seconds remaining. She played stout defense as well, finishing with three steals and a block.
Rutgers’ aggressive defensive style, which relies heavily on traps and presses, gave Ohio State issues all day as the Buckeyes turned the ball over 19 times. It clamped down in the fourth as the Buckeyes shot 0-for-12 from the field, allowing the Scarlet Knights to claw their way back from a 50-44 deficit.
Sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz led the way for the Buckeyes, finishing with her second straight double-double, a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds. She also went to work on the defensive end, finishing with two steals and blocks.
Ohio State played without its leading bench scorer, freshman guard Kierstan Bell, as she remained in Columbus for personal reasons. Freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova stepped up in Bell’s place, giving the Buckeyes 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting off the pine.
The loss pushes the Buckeyes back into fifth place in the Big Ten with just two games remaining as they continue to pursue a double-bye in the conference tournament.
Ohio State looks to bounce back Tuesday night when it hosts Northwestern for a 6 p.m. tipoff at the Schottenstein Center.