Feb. 25, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ashley Adams led all five Ohio State starters in double-figures with 16 points and the Buckeyes used an 18-2 first-half run to take control in a 67-60 win over Michigan State Monday night at VCA.
Adams was 8 of 10 from the field and added three assists and three blocks. Ameryst Alston was 7 of 8 from the field for 15 points while Tayler Hill scored in double-figures for the 60th consecutive game with 14 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
The Buckeyes took control of this one midway through the first half with their 18-2 run over a 6-minute span, which was ignited by a Raven Ferguson 3-pointer. MSU led 13-10 at the 10:14 mark and 6 minutes later, Ohio State was up 28-15 and never looked back.
Michigan State kept plugging away and would cut the lead to three late in the second half, but that would be as close as the Spartans would come as Hill scored the next four points to ice the victory, improving the Buckeyes to 15-12 and 5-9 in Big Ten play. MSU falls to 20-7 and 8-6 in conference play.
Ferguson, who started for the first time since Jan. 27, finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists. Amber Stokes added 12 points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks, two steals and several strips and deflections.
The Buckeyes are now 15-4 this season when holding opponents to 60 points or less.
Jasmine Thomas led the Spartans with 16 points on 8 of 12 shooting.
Ohio State is back in action at 8 p.m. Thursday in Champaign when they take on Illinois. OSU will then close out the regular season at Noon Sunday when it welcomes Michigan to VCA.
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On Ohio State’s smaller lineup
“I thought our ball movement was terrific. It allowed us to do a lot of things defensively.”
On the health of Amber Stokes
“She’s getting closer. She says she is about 80 to 85 percent.”
On players earning playing time
“There are things you have to work through. You can’t just give somebody something. You have to earn it. It just took a while for it to be earned to the point that I was going to make a decision. It was the same thing when we redshirted Lisa [Blair]. You have to think of what’s best for the program. You want your freshmen to earn it and not just hand it to them.”
On the importance of ball movement
“I think when the ball is moving everyone stays engaged mentally. I think we got some worthwhile things because of that.”
Amber Stokes, Ohio State redshirt senior guard
On the team’s energy
“I thought we had a lot of energy. We seemed focused and we fought hard to pull out the win.”
On Ohio State’s smaller lineup
“It let us switch from guard to guard. Raven [Ferguson] did a great job covering her sides tonight.”
On Jasmine Thomas
“She is a really good guard. She is quick and knows how to get to the basket.”
Ameryst Alston, Ohio State freshman guard
On Amber Stokes
“You have to know Amber Stokes. Whether she is at 100 percent or if she is not on the court, she has our back. She is a team player and she lets you know it.”
On Ohio State’s play late in the second half
“At the end we just needed to pull together and play our game to win. It seemed like we were a bit slow and started letting them play, but Amber [Stokes] pulled us together and got our heads back in the game.”
On the ball movement
“Sometimes when the game is not going our way we need to figure out how to win together. Sometimes we are all trying to do it separately, but today we came together and played our game.”
Suzy Merchant, Michigan State head coach
On the Spartans’ defensive breakdowns
“Ohio State has struggled with their offensive execution at times this year, but we gave them too many easy looks today and they took advantage.”
On finding a complement to Jasmine Thomas
“I just wish we had one other person who played with her confidence on the defensive end and with the same offensive aggression. It’s frustrating because aside from Jasmine, they played harder than we did, and I never would have thought that coming into the game.”
On Ohio State taking advantage of the Spartan defense
“Ashley Adams shot 8-of-10 on our post and Ameryst Alston shot 7-of-8 on our guards. You can’t do that and expect to win – it’s inexcusable.”