Nov. 16, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior guard Ameryst Alston led an Ohio State offensive outburst on Sunday which was needed to get by St. Francis 113-97.
The Buckeyes, who topped 100 points for the first time since 2004, even their record at 1-1 while St. Francis dropped its opening game of the season.
Alston scored 23 of her career-high 39 points in the decisive second half. She also grabbed nine rebounds and dished-out six assists. Her 39 points was tied for the third-most in a game by a Buckeye in school-history.
Freshman Kelsey Mitchell continued the great start to her career as she followed her 26-point performance on opening night with 28 points and six assists on Sunday. She was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line and led the team with five assists.
Fellow freshman Alexa Hart notched the first double-double of her career as she scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. She was just two blocked shots away from a triple-double. The eight blocks were tied for the fourth-most blocks by a Buckeye in a game.
The Buckeyes shot 53 percent (44-of-83) for the game which led to the 113 points. That was the most points scored by Ohio State in a regular season home game and the most points scored in a game at Value City Arena.
St. Francis didn’t go quietly thanks in large part to Alexa Haywood. Haywood scored 35 points in the game, including going 6-of-18 from beyond the arc. That was the most points ever scored by a Buckeye opponent in Value City Arena history.
The Buckeyes opened the game making eight of its first nine shots from the floor and raced-out to an 18-8 lead. Hart had 10 of the first 18 points for the Buckeyes. But the Red Flash used a 9-2 run to trim the lead to 46-39 with less than six minutes left in the half. Seven first half three-pointers for St. Francis kept the score close as the teams went to break with the Buckeyes leading just 57-55.
Alston hit a pair of threes and then found Mitchell for another three from the corner to break open a two-point game and give the Buckeyes a 70-58 advantage just four minutes into the second half. But just like the first half, St. Francis battled back. A 10-0 Red Flash run keyed by five points apiece from Haywood and Aisha Brock, again sliced the margin to just two at 70-68.
The Buckeyes pushed back with a 12-2 run to shove the lead right back out to 84-72 with 10 minutes to play. Doss had seven points in the run while Alston chipped-in with five.
The lead stayed around 10 until a late 11-3 run gave the Buckeyes some breathing room with four minutes to play and they would hold on for their first victory of the season.
The Beat Goes On
Junior guard Ameryst Alston ended last year with three-straight games of 20or more points and she hasn’t missed a beat at the onset of thisseason.
She scored a team-high 27 against Virginia and then lit-up St.Francis for 39 points on 15-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-5 frombeyond the arc.
Her 39 points are tied for the third-most in a single-game by aBuckeye in school-history.
It was the sixth 30-point game of her career.
Dating back to last season, she has made 19 three-pointers in herlast five.
Alston has scored a combined 66 points in the first two games andis shooting over 67 percent from the floor.
Second Chance Points
In addition to three-point shooting, St. Francis was able tostay close because of its second chance opportunities.
The Red Flash grabbed 25 offensive rebounds and converted them into28 points.
Ohio State had just five second chance points from its 10 offensiverebounds.
Not in Her House
Freshman Alexa Hart had a game inside and forced the Red Flash to shootfrom the outside.
In addition to the first double-double of her career (18 points, 11rebounds), she swatted eight shots.
Her eight blocks were tied for the fourth-most in a single-game byBuckeye in school-history.
Long Time Between Double-Digit Point Games For KP
Redshirt-sophomore Kalpana Beach is returning after sitting out the last two yearwith knee injuries.
After shaking off the rust in the season-opener against Virginia,she scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds on Sunday.
That was her first double-digit scoring game since thequarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament against Michigan on March2, 2012.
Value City Arena Records
A number of Value City Arena records fell on Sunday:
Ohio State points scored (113)
Opponent points scored (97)
Ohio State made field goals (44)
Opponent FG made (40)
Ohio State FG attempts (83)
Opponent FG attempted (102)
Opponent 3-point FG attempted (47)
Opponent rebounds (60)
Ohio State individual FG made – Ameryst Alston, 15
Ohio State individual blocked shots – Alexa Hart, 8
Opponent single game points – Alexa Hayward, 35
Opponent FG made and attempted – Alexa Hayward, 13-of-34
Opponent 3-point FG attempted – Alexa Hayward, 18
The Buckeyes were never really able to shake the Red Flashuntil a late 11-3 run pushed the Ohio State lead out to 18 at105-87 with 4:11 to play.
Alston had five points during the run and assisted on two morelay-ups by Mitchell.
That provided a little breathing room for the Buckeyes to close outthe game in the final four minutes.
Ohio State remains at home and will host SEC-foe Georgia onWednesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.
The Buckeyes fell in Athens last season 53-49.