Ohio State women’s basketball got one step closer to its NCAA Tournament aspirations with a victory Thursday night.
The Buckeyes (13-9, 6-5 Big Ten) won their second straight game on the road, beating Illinois (10-12, 1-10) 78-58.
Ohio State used a 39-19 run over the final 15 minutes to bury the Illini.
The Buckeye bigs led the way, as sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz put together another standout performance with 13 points on 80 percent shooting and six rebounds. Fellow sophomore forward Aaliyah Patty also produced 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Freshman guard Kierstan Bell shook off a scoreless first half, putting up 12 points alongside seven boards in the final two frames. Freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova was once again a key factor off the bench, putting up 10 points.
Illini junior guard Petra Holesinska led the way for Illinois, finishing with 17 points on an efficient 44 percent from deep.
Illinois senior guard Brandi Beasley had a tale of two halves, finishing with 16 points while shooting 6-for-14. Her 13 first half points kept the Illini in striking distance at the half but she went cold in the second half, shooting just 1-for-6.
The Buckeyes were short-handed with just eight players dressed for action, as freshman guard Kaelynn Satterfield entered the transfer portal Thursday evening and freshman forward Aixa Wone Aranaz remained in Columbus due to personal reasons.
The Buckeyes are back home at the Schottenstein Center on Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. tipoff against Wisconsin.