Nov. 8, 2017
Ohio State opens the 2017-18 season on Friday in historic St. John Arena when it hosts No. 10/9 Stanford. The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
NOTING OHIO STATE
- The Buckeyes are coming off a season that saw them go 28-7 and win their 15th Big Ten Championship.
- OSU returns nine letterwinners and boasts a roster of eight upperclassmen.
- The Buckeyes were picked to win the Big Ten this season by both the media and the conference’s head coaches.
- Kelsey Mitchell returns as the team’s leading scorer. She averaged 22.6 ppg last season and made 115 three-pointers. She was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year and earned her third All-American honor.
- Last year, in her first as a Buckeye, Stephanie Mavunga became just the third player in school history to average a double-double for an entire season, scoring 11.4 points and grabbed 10.8 rebounds per game.
- Mavunga and Mitchell were both named to the preseason All-Big Ten Team.
- The Buckeyes are ranked No. 5 in the AP poll, marking just the third time OSU will start the season ranked in the top-5.
- The opening two games will mark the 33rd and 34th games in which a top-10 Ohio State team will face another top-10 team. The Buckeyes are 13-19 in the previous 32 games.
- This is just the second time in school history the Buckeyes have opened the year against back-to-back top-10 teams. They also played No. 2 South Carolina and No. 1 UConn in the opening two games in 2015.
- Ohio State rolled to a pair of exhibition victories prior to the season. The Buckeyes got 28 points from Mitchell as well as 28 points and 23 rebounds from Mavunga in a 110-80 victory over defending DII national champion Ashland on Oct. 29.
- Against Urbana on Nov. 5, all five Buckeye starters scored 20 or more points in a 135-54 victory.
- The Cardinal open the year ranked No. 10 in the AP poll and No. 9 in the coaches poll.
- Stanford made its 13th overall trip to the Final Four and seventh in 10 years last season, posting a 32-6 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Pac-12 play.
- The Cardinal also won its 12th Pac-12 Tournament championship and celebrated Tara VanDerveer’s 1,000th career victory during the program’s 14th 30-win campaign.
- Brittany McPhee is the leading returning scorer for the Cardinal as she averaged 13.3 points per game last season.
- Junior Alanna Smith averaged 9.1 points and was second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game.
- Stanford won its lone exhibition game against 60-46 over UC San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 4.
Series History vs. Stanford
- Friday’s game will be just the third all-time meeting between the two programs.
- The Buckeyes won the first meeting 79-47 on Dec. 28, 1984 as Buckeye of the Buckeye Classic at St. John Arena.
- Stanford won the most recent meeting which came in the 2009 Sweet 16. The Cardinal prevailed 84-66 in Berkeley, Calif.
Welcome back Coach
- Friday’s game will also mark the return to Columbus for Stanford’s Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer.
- Vanderveer, who has won over 1,000 games, began her coaching career in Columbus. She led the Buckeyes from 1981-85.
- She had a record of 110-37 (.748) in her five seasons and took her teams to the NCAA Tournament three times.
- Ohio State began Big Ten competition in 1983 and VanDerveer led the Buckeyes to three-straight Big Ten crowns in 1983-85, she had a record of 50-4 in those three years.
- VanDerveer had a record of 55-11 (.833) in St. John Arena. Her last game in the building was a 102-60 victory in the NCAA Tournament over Holy Cross on March 17, 1985.
McGuff vs. Stanford
- Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff has never beaten Stanford as he’s 0-5 all-time against Tara VanDerveer and the Cardinal.
- He lost three times in his two years as Washington head coach and two times during his time at Xavier.
- The most crushing loss at Xavier was a 55-53 setback in the 2010 Elite Eight when Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen (who is now married to the brother of current OSU standout Stephanie Mavunga) went coast-to-coast for a game-winning lay-up at the buzzer.