COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State freshman Kierstan Bell scored a career-high 20 points to led the Buckeyes to an 82-74 victory over Wisconsin on Pink Day inside Value City Arena.
The win was a season-high tying third in a row for the Buckeyes who improve to 14-9 on the season and 7-5 in the conference.
Bell had a great all-around game on Sunday as in addition to her 20 points, she grabbed 10 rebounds, tied a season-high with six assists, had three steals and a pair of blocks. The double-double was her second in the last three games.
Sophomore forward Aaliyah Patty was 8-of-11 from the floor and finished with a season-high 16 points. Like Bell, she also had three steals and two blocks.
Fellow sophomore Janai Crooms was an efficient 7-of-10 shooting for a final line of 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova made her first collegiate start a memorable one as she scored 12 points and had five rebounds. Mikulasikova started in place of Dorka Juhasz who missed the game with an ankle injury that she sustained in the win over Illinois on Thursday.
As a team, the Buckeyes had 22 assists and just 11 turnovers while shooting 50 percent. The 22 assists are tied for the second-most on the year and it was the fifth time the Buckeyes have had 20 or more in a game this season.
Both teams shot well in the first quarter. The Buckeyes led 22-20 after one despite Wisconsin shooting 69 percent. The second quarter was where Bell got hot. She scored 12 of her 20 in the quarter and the Buckeyes rushed out to a 46-35 lead at halftime.
After the break, Ohio State kept the Badgers at bay in the third until an 8-0 run followed by a Bell three, pushed the lead to 66-52. Crooms then found herself on the end of three great passes at the start of the fourth quarter and she laid all three in to give the Buckeyes their largest lead of the game at 72-54.
Wisconsin then took advantage of the Buckeyes perhaps taking their foot off the gas a little and trimmed the margin to eight but never threatened down the stretch.
Ohio State remains at home this week as it will host Minnesota on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Buckeyes won the first meeting this year between the two teams in Minneapolis 66-63 on New Year’s Eve.