The Ohio State women’s basketball team came out of the gates firing Friday, using a strong start to advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Buckeyes (20-11, 13-7 Big Ten) pulled away early and never looked back, topping No. 19 Iowa (23-7, 14-5) 87-66.
Ohio State jumped out to a 22-3 lead to open the game as it dominated the opening frame. The Buckeyes shot a red-hot 67 percent from the field and beyond the arc in the quarter.
Freshman guard Kierstan Bell was scorching in the opening quarter, scoring 11 of her team-high 16 points. She hit 3-of-4 3s in the opening frame before making just one of her last six attempts.
Sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz attained her fifth double-double in her last six games as she finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Juhasz has snagged double-digit rebounds in her past six outings.
The Buckeye bench was dominant despite freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova’s absence, outscoring the Hawkeye bench 27-9. Bell and sophomore guard Janai Crooms stepped up in her place, as Crooms finished with nine points and a game-high six assists.
Ohio State controlled the glass, securing a 43-27 rebounding advantage.
Iowa’s offense was spearheaded by senior guard Kathleen Doyle, who finished with a team-high 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
Senior Makenzie Meyer and redshirt junior guard Alexis Sevillian each added 13 points.
In the next round the Buckeyes will take on rival Michigan, which also pulled an upset win against No. 11 Northwestern 67-59 Friday.
The Ohio State-Michigan semifinal matchup tips off at 8:55 p.m. Saturday night in Indianapolis.