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Jan. 27, 2018

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s basketball team had been reeling for the last week and a half but in the fourth quarter on Saturday at Value City Arena, Michigan State found itself on the receiving end of a three-game stress relief.

The Buckeyes were 12-of-14 shooting (85.7 percent) in the final quarter which took a two-point game and turned it into a stress-free 78-62 victory over the Spartans. The win snapped not a three-game losing streak on the season but a three-game skid against Michigan State.

Kelsey Mitchell entered the game just 18 points shy of Rachel Banham’s all-time Big Ten scoring record of 3,093 points. Once she picked-up her fourth foul with 2:03 left in the third quarter, Mitchell had 15 points and it looked as if the record might hold for another game. But she hit back-to-back threes in a 17-second spurt to not only eclipse the mark but help the Buckeyes shove the lead out to 20 points with just over two minutes remaining. Mitchell finished with a game-high 23 points and also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. She now has 3,098 career points which is seventh all-time in NCAA history.

#3 just became #1! All-Tim3 B1G Leading Scorer. Congrats @Kelz_Hoop ! pic.twitter.com/2hxaGUdpAs

— OSU W Basketball (@OhioState_WBB) January 27, 2018

Not to be out shadowed on the day was the play Linnae Harper and Stephanie Mavunga. Harper was 10-of-14 from the floor and finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds five assists and a season-high tying five steals. Mavunga nearly matched her as she was 8-of-10 shooting for 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Jenna Allen led three Spartans in double-figures with 16 points.

The Buckeyes had struggled shooting the ball over the past two and half games and they didn’t exactly light it up through the first three quarters on Saturday. But the fourth quarter hopefully lifted the lid on the basket and made basketball fun again.

OSU led by just one point at the end of one and used an Asia Doss three-pointer that beat the halftime buzzer to take a 32-29 lead into the break.

Mitchell scored five-straight points to give the Buckeyes a 50-42 lead, which was their largest lead of the game to that point, and force an MSU timeout midway through the third quarter. But the Spartans rebounded and cut the deficit to just three heading to the fourth quarter.

MSU would get to as close as two points early in the fourth and that’s when head coach Kevin McGuff reinserted Mitchell with her four fouls back into the lineup and the rest was history.

Notes

  • Kelsey Mitchell is now the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer (male or female) as she passed Minnesota’s Rachel Banham who had 3,093 points in her career.
  • Mitchell currently has 3,098 point which is seventh all-time in NCAA history
  • Linnae Harper recorded her eighth double-double on the season and her second in as many games with 22 points and 10 rebounds
  • Harper has scored in double-figures in all 22 games this season
  • This was Harper’s second game this season with five steals
  • Stephanie Mavunga notched her sixth 20-point game of the season and the 19th of her career
  • The Buckeye Big 3 of Mitchell, Harper and Mavunga is the highest scoring trio in the country and they combined for 65 of the team’s 78 points
  • Ohio State snapped a season-long three-game losing streak and also snapped a three-game losing streak against Michigan State
  • The 28 points scored in the fourth quarter were the most for the Buckeyes since scoring 29 in the second quarter vs. Minnesota on Jan. 4
  • Ohio State shot 85.7 percent in the fourth quarter which marked the highest shooting percentage in any quarter for the Buckeyes since the NCAA switched to the quarter format prior to the 2015-16 season
  • This marked the first time this season and the first since the final game of the regular season last year at Rutgers that the Buckeyes held an opponent to under 20 points in each of the four quarters
  • Ohio State’s free throw percentage of 42.9 percent (6-of-14) was it’s lowest this season
  • This was the lowest shooting percentage (37.3) for a Buckeye opponent since Indiana shot 37.1 percent in the first conference game of the season on Dec. 31, 2017

Up Next
The Buckeyes remain at home next week as they will host Penn State on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.