PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The No. RV/25 Ohio State women’s basketball team (15-3, 7-2 Big Ten) beat Rutgers (7-13, 0-8 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon by an 80-71 margin for the Buckeyes’ sixth-straight win.
Jacy Sheldon led the Ohio State offense with her fourth 30-point game of the season and third in the last four games. Taylor Mikesell and Rikki Harris each had three triples behind Sheldon’s four to round out the Buckeyes’ double-figure scorers. Mikesell and Sheldon have each scored at least 10 points in every game this season.
How it Happened
Rutgers scored the first four points, but Rikki Harris found Taylor Mikesell for an easy layup to get Ohio State on the board. Mikesell gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the game, 9-8, with 5:28 to play in the opening quarter on a three-pointer. Ohio State trailed 10-9 at the media timeout. A second triple from Harris gave OSU the lead back, but Rutgers responded with a 6-0 run to take a 17-15 lead with 1:34 to play. The Buckeyes capitalized off a turnover for back-to-back baskets and a Mikesell triple gave OSU the 22-19 lead after 10 minutes.
The Scarlet Knights scored the first three points of the quarter to tie the game at 22, but Harris got her third three-pointer of the game off an offensive rebound to put the Buckeyes back in front. Ohio State extended its run to 10-0 to force a Rutgers timeout with a 32-22 lead. Rutgers ended its scoring drought with a pair of free throws. Four-straight points from Jacy Sheldon on the floor increased OSU’s lead back to 10 at 38-28 with two to play in the half. The Scarlet Knights scored the final four points to trim the Buckeyes’ lead to 38-32 heading into the locker room.
Rutgers opened the second half with back-to-back baskets to cut the Ohio State lead to two points before Sheldon responded with a three-pointer. OSU led 41-38 at the media timeout. Sheldon had the first eight points of the half for the Buckeyes, but a 6-2 Rutgers run got the Scarlet Knights within four, 48-44, midway through the quarter. Ohio State finished the quarter with six-unanswered points and an 11-4 run to lead 59-48 after 30 minutes.
Mikesell made a pair from the line to begin the fourth quarter. Back-to-back Rutgers baskets forced an Ohio State timeout with 6:18 to play and a 66-58 lead. Taylor Thierry scored the next five for OSU on a layup and a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 71-59 midway through the final quarter. Rutgers responded with an 8-0 run to cut the Buckeye lead to 71-67 with two to play. Sheldon ended the Ohio State scoring drought with a three-point play. The Buckeyes ended the game with free throws, capping scoring at 80-71 for the afternoon.
What They Said
Head Coach Kevin McGuff
On the team’s performance:
“I thought we were a little choppy at times and didn’t play our best, but our intensity in the second half and our leadership from the upperclassmen allowed us to pull away and get the win.”
On who stood out today:
“Jacy Sheldon obviously was terrific and Taylor Mikesell is really good, but I was really pleased with some play off the bench from Tanaya Beacham and Taylor Thierry.”
Ohio State returns home to host No. 8/8 Michigan on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip. The game will be broadcast live on BTN and AM 1460. Please note that the game time has changed from the originally scheduled 6 p.m. start.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets and group tickets for the 2021-22 season in Value City Arena in the Schottenstein Center. All group tickets must be bought in advance by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS and then selecting option two. Fans with ticketing questions should call the Ohio State Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BUCKS or email email@example.com.