WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Ohio State dug itself an early hole and was never able to recover as Butler came away with a 66-53 victory on Thursday on the opening day of the West Palm Beach Invitational at Keiser University.
Carly Santoro led the Buckeyes with 14 points and five rebounds. Makayla Waterman scored 10 points and swatted a career-high four shots.
Adreana Miller made a pair of three-pointers and finished with eight points while freshman Janai Crooms canned both of her three-point attempts to finish with six points.
Butler came out of the gate and hit three of its first four from long range to take an early 11-2 lead. The Bulldogs pushed that edge out to 16 points early in the second quarter before the Buckeyes clawed back to trail 33-25 at the break. OSU shot just 26 percent in the first half but made 11-of-13 free throws.
The Buckeyes got as close as six points thanks to a run at the end of the third quarter and trailed 50-44 at the end of three. Butler shoved the lead right back out the double-digits in the first 90 seconds of the fourth quarter and the Buckeyes never really threatened the rest of the way.
The second game of the West Palm Beach Invitational for the Buckeyes will be against Virginia Tech on Friday at 12:15. The Hokies came to Florida a perfect 10-0 on the season and played Dayton in their first game on Thursday afternoon.