PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes made a jumper with 4.3 seconds remaining to break the tie and hand Ohio State a heartbreaking 59-57 loss Saturday afternoon at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
The loss snapped a six-game win streak for the Buckeyes who are now 17-10 on the season and 10-6 in Big Ten play.
Dorka Juhasz notched her sixth double-double of the season and the 18th of her career with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Braxtin Miller made two really big plays in the final minute to bring the Buckeyes back to even with just over 24 seconds to play. She knocked down two free throws with 29 seconds left to cut the lead to two and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass, raced down the floor and was fouled on her drive. She canned two more free throws to knot the game at 57-57. Guirantes followed with her game-clinching shot.
Miller finished with 16 points, six rebounds and was 6-of-6 from the line. Rebeka Mikulasikova scored 11 points on 2-of-3 from long range and also grabbed four rebounds.
It was truly Guirantes’ day as she finished with 36 points. She made all three of her threes and was 15-of-21 from the floor. Many of her shots were tightly contested or came against a double team. No other Scarlet Knight reached double figures.
The Buckeyes trailed 18-12 after the first quarter but outscored Rutgers 22-12 in the second. Juhasz and Mikulasikova combined for 16 of the 22 points and OSU had a 34-30 lead at the break.
Rutgers went on a 12-2 run in the third to regain the lead at 42-41. Guirantes had seven points during the spurt. In the final minute of the third, Mikulasikova hit a big three and then followed with a lay-in. Miller capped the quarter with a runner and the Buckeye lead was 50-44.
In the fourth, Rutgers slowly chipped away and took a 52-51 lead with just under four minutes to play. Greene made a pair of free throws to retake the lead and the Guirantes hit a jumper and a big three from the corner with 1:18 left to put Rutgers ahead by four. Miller then made her plays but Guirantes had the final answer.
For the game, the Buckeyes shot 36.7 percent from the floor which included 0-for-12 in the fourth quarter. Rutgers shot 45.6 percent for the game and was 7-of-13 in the fourth. The game also featured 13 lead changes.
The Buckeyes will be home on Tuesday for the final home game of the season vs. Northwestern. It will also be Senior Night where Ohio State will honor its lone senior, Savitha Jayaraman, prior to the game. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on BTN.