COLUMBUS, Ohio – Behind great nights from Carmen Grande and Dorka Juhász, Ohio State rallied from an early 14-point hole to outlast North Carolina 76-69 on Thursday night at Value City Arena.
Grande, who had just six total points in the first three games of the season, scored a game-high 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished-out six assists in the win. Juhász notched her third double-double in the first four games as she scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Carly Santoro chipped-in with 11 points and nine rebounds while Makayla Waterman had eight points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Najah Queenland scored just five points but had a pair of steals and was +18 in plus/minus which was the highest of anyone in the game.
The Buckeyes were the more aggressive team all night as they won the battle on the boards 51-28. That was truly the difference in the contest as the Tar Heels only rebounded six of their 35 missed shots. The Buckeyes limited UNC to just one shot on most possessions and would grab 21 offensive boards on the other end.
UNC ran out to an early 12-2 lead and would lead by as much as 14 midway through the first quarter. The Buckeyes then responded with a 14-2 run to get back in the game and trailed by just three at the end of the first. The second and third quarters and most of the fourth quarter were played within a five-point span as neither team was able to pull away.
The Buckeyes shot 56.3 percent in the fourth quarter and forced five UNC turnovers, converted them into six points. That allowed the Buckeyes to hold off the Tar Heels down the stretch for the victory.
Ohio State remains at home and will play in-state rival Cincinnati this Sunday at Value City Arena. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET. The Buckeyes have won three-consecutive games over the Bearcats and have a 19-4 edge in the overall series.