COLUMBUS, Ohio – The young Ohio State women’s basketball team has had its share of ups and downs through the first four weeks of the season. Thursday night however, was certainly the highest point to date, as the Buckeyes knocked-off No. 2 Louisville 67-60.
The win improves the Buckeyes to 5-3 on the season and it was its 13th win all-time over a top-5 team.
Ohio State was in a similar position just over a week ago against No. 4 UConn but didn’t make enough plays down the stretch as the experienced Huskies pulled away late. The Buckeyes used that experience and on Thursday, they got over the hump and hit key shots in the fourth quarter to push the lead and ultimately held on over the final three minutes.
Four Buckeyes finished in double figures led by sophomore Dorka Juhasz with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Freshman Kierstan Bell had 14 points, six rebounds and hit all five of her free throws. Sophomore Janai Crooms and freshman Rebeka Mikulasikova each chipped in with 11 points.
The Buckeyes shot 48.8 percent for the game and were 19-of-23 for 82.6 percent from the free throw line. That was significant because they entered the game shooting just over 56 percent. That had hamstrung the Buckeyes in close losses to both Ohio and UConn.
After Ohio State led 19-17 after the first quarter, Louisville opened the second quarter on a 12-2 run to snag its biggest lead of the night at 29-21. The Buckeyes closed the half strong however, behind a three from Juhasz and old-fashioned three-point plays from Mikulasikova and junior Braxtin Miller to trail just 33-31 at the half.
Bell set the tone for the second half with a three-pointer from the corner which gave the Buckeyes the lead. A Louisville three-pointer put the Cardinals up 43-40 with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter. Bell made another nice jumper in the lane a minute later which sparked a 10-2 run to close the quarter and the Buckeyes would never trail the rest of the night.
The Cardinals started the fourth quarter with a three-pointer to cut the lead to two points. OSU again answered and took a six point lead after a lay-up by Crooms off a nice pass from Mikulasikova. After a UofL three-pointer, Bell stole the ball, took it coast-to-coast and finished with a nice spinning jumper in the lane. That sparked the crowd and the Buckeyes would ride that momentum through the finish line.
The last time OSU beat a No. 2 ranked team was on Feb. 20, 2017 when it knocked-off Maryland 98-87. This was also the first win for Ohio State against Louisville.
The Buckeyes will remain at home to host Radford on Sunday at 2 p.m. This will be the first meeting between the two programs. Radford comes in at 2-4 on the year after making winning the Big South and playing in the NCAA Tournament last season.