Feb. 21, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State saved its best for the final minute. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Minnesota saved its luck for the final seconds.
After Raven Ferguson hit her second 3-pointer within :08 seconds left to give OSU a 56-55 lead, Minnesota’s Rachel Banham raced the other way and hit a runner with 0.4 seconds left to give Minnesota the one-point victory, 57-56.
Trailing by five, 55-50, with just over a minute left, Ferguson cut the lead to two with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. After a timeout, Ferguson came up with a steal on the inbounds and hit a second 3-pointer from the corner to give Ohio State the one-point lead before Banaham hit the game winner.
The loss drops the Buckeyes to 4-9 in the Big Ten and 14-12 overall while Minnesota improves to 16-11 and 5-8.
Ohio State trailed by as much as eight points with 7 minutes left before they mounted a rally. But it didn’t come easy as Ohio State shot just 31 percent for the game. But the Buckeyes stayed in the game with their defense, holding their opponent in the 50’s for the fifth straight game.
The 25 points from Hill also moved her into a tie for fifth place with Tracey Hall on Ohio State’s all-time scoring list (1,912).
Banham and Micaella Riche led Minnesota with 17 points each to lead the Gophers, who led by as much a nine.
Ohio State will try and bounce back at 6:30 p.m. Monday when it welcomes Michigan State to Value City Arena. Fans are encouraged to wear their Scarlet!
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On Minnesota’s game-winning shot
“[Rachel] Banham made a great shot. It was double-clutch and she made it. We executed at the other end first with Raven Ferguson’s shot and then we defended as best you can in that situation.”
On new rotations
“From here on, we plan on playing four guards. There’s no productivity right now. Everybody has had their chance to play.”
On missed shots
“A lot of them were rushed shots. We also did some silly things like reaching and trying to get steals. More importantly we have to get stops on the other end.”
Tayler Hill, Ohio State senior guard
On how to improve as a team
“We need to be able to hit open shots. We missed too many layups today. I think everyone on the team needs to have confidence in themselves.”
On the importance of teamwork
“We don’t have any all-stars on the team, so we need to get it together collectively. We need to have other players contribute.”
Raven Ferguson, Ohio State sophomore guard
On Minnesota’s game-winning shot
“Amber [Stokes] was pressing [Rachel] Banham, but she made a crazy shot. That’s what happens in basketball.”
On her performance
“I didn’t lose any confidence in my ability to make a three-point shot. When I missed my first attempt, my teammates told me to stay in my shot and they would get the ball to me. When I hit the first one, the first thing I thought was I need to make another one.”
Pam Borton, Minnesota head coach
On Rachel Banham’s last shot
“We’ve seen that many times. She had two people on her and she didn’t even hit the rim. It went straight through the net. This league needs players like [Tayler] Hill and [Rachel] Banham. She has a long way to go, but thank goodness we have Rachel Banham on our team.”
On Micaella Riche’s performance
“We wanted Micaella [Riche] to get touches. We didn’t have to get her the ball, but she needed to get a touch. She was being very aggressive and getting the ball to the rim. She had some jumpers over [Ashley] Adams and we weren’t too happy about that because we wanted to get her to the line.”
On Shayne Mullaney’s free throws at the end of the game
“We had a freshman at the line with less than a minute as well Shayne [Mullaney] started the second half. She’s one of our starters. I think it shows a lot of mental toughness from her to make those free throws.”
On Ohio State’s performance
“Tayler [Hill]’s a great player. She’s going to get 20 every game. I think we let [Amber] Stokes get loose too much. I think [Raven] Ferguson had one of her better games. Overall I think they did a really good job in the second half.”