Dec. 27, 2016
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Setting the Scene
- Ohio State opens Big Ten play this Wednesday when it welcomes the Gophers of Minnesota into Columbus.
- Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Value City Arena.
- The Buckeyes finished non-conference play with a record of 10-4. Last time out, OSU trounced Winthrop 88-48 on Dec. 21.
- Minnesota enters the game with a record of 9-4. The Gophers have won five of their last six games and are coming off a 92-62 victory over Kent State last Thursday.
- The game will be streamed live online for a fee on BTN2Go.
- The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Noting The Buckeyes
- The Buckeyes finished non-conference play with a record of 10-4. All four losses have come to teams ranked in the top-16.
- OSU is ranked No. 14 in the AP poll and remain No. 13 in the Coaches Poll.
- Stephanie Mavunga has recorded a team-best six double-doubles in her nine games this season.
- Mavunga scored her 1,000th collegiate point in the game against No. 1 UConn on Dec. 19.
- Junior Kelsey Mitchell became the fastest player in NCAA history to 2,000 career points as she reached the mark in just 79 games.
- Mitchell is in 5th place on the OSU career-scoring chart with 2,076 points.
- Mitchell is also the school’s all-time three-point leader 298 career three-pointers. There are just four players in Big Ten history with 300 or more career three-pointers.
- Freshman Tori McCoy was named the Big Ten and National Freshman of the Week on Dec. 13 after tying the OSU single-game record by going 10-for-10 from the floor vs. Southern and missing just one shot in her first double-double of the season vs. Canisius.
- McCoy has made 33-of-39 shots (84.6 percent) over the last seven games.
- Transfer Linnae Harper made her Buckeye debut vs. Alabama State on Dec. 16 and scored 15 points to go along with five rebounds.
- Ohio State had a tremendous second half effort in its win over Cincinnati, limiting UC to just 10 points over the final two quarters and just one point in the fourth. The 10 points were the fewest points allowed in a half since 2012 and the one point was the fewest ever allowed in a quarter.
- After finishing third in the country last season at 86.0 ppg, the Buckeyes are fifth in the country in scoring at 88.4 ppg.
- Kevin McGuff is in his fourth season with the Buckeyes and his 15th overall as a head coach. He has a career record of 332-140 (.703) and 77-41 (.653) with the Buckeyes.
- The Gophers navigated the non-conference portion if its schedule at 9-4.
- UM is coming off a 92-62 victory over Kent State last Thursday, a game which saw five Gophers score 13 or more points.
- Minnesota has lost to the four Power 5 conference teams it has played and has won all the rest.
- The Gophers were shooting over 41 percent as a team and are averaging almost 78 points per game.
- All-Big Ten guard Carlie Wagner leads the team in scoring at 18.6 ppg and has made a team-high 36 three-pointers.
- Guard Kenisha Bell leads the team in both assists and steals while averaging 16.9 points per game.
- Jessie Edwards is the Gophers’ force in the middle, averaging a team-best 7.9 rpg and shooting 61 percent from the floor.
Series History vs. Minnesota
- Ohio State and Minnesota are meeting for the 72nd time on Wednesday.
- The Buckeyes hold a 54-17 lead in the all-time series but Minnesota has won five of the last seven meetings.
- In games played in Columbus, the Buckeyes lead the series 25-3 but the Gophers have won the two most recent meetings in 2013 and 2015.
- OSU leads 20-11 in games played in Minneapolis but have lost the last four games in Williams Arena.
- The last two Ohio State wins have come in the 2013 and 2015 Big Ten Tournaments.
- The Buckeyes scored 117 points in a 117-64 win at Minnesota on Jan. 12, 1996. That is tied for the most points OSU has ever scored in a B1G game.
McGuff vs. Minnesota
- Head coach Kevin McGuff is 2-3 all-time against the Gophers.
- McGuff guided Xavier to a victory at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas in 2009 and then dropped a 74-57 decision at Minnesota in his first season in Columbus.
- In 2015, he split a pair of meetings, losing in Columbus but winning in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Last season, the Buckeyes fell in overtime in Minneapolis in the team’s only game.
Last year vs. Minnesota
- In a game that featured 12 ties and 12 lead changes, Minnesota was able to land the last punch in overtime, stealing a 90-88 victory at the Barn on Feb. 24, 2016.
- The Gophers looked to have won the back and forth battle in regulation on a rebound and putback with 0.5 seconds left. But a perfectly run lob play was finished at the rim by Alexa Hart to knot the score at 78-78.
- Minnesota’s Carlie Wagner again would score with less than a second left in overtime to secure the win.
- On her senior night, Rachel Banham led all scorers with 35 points. Shayla Cooper led the Buckeyes with a career-high tying 25 points.
- Alexa Hart notched her eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds.
- Hart recorded her 200th career block in the game. She finished the night with four blocks.
- Cooper also posted a double-double, her ninth of the year with a career-high tying 25 points and 11 rebounds.
- Ameryst Alston finished with 20 points and three assists.
- Cait Craft grabbed her 300th career rebound in the game.
- Kelsey Mitchell grabbed a season-high nine rebounds.
- Ohio State had its 11-game win streak snapped.
- It was Ohio State’s first of two-straight overtime games on the season.
- After averaging 12 three-pointers per game in the previous five games, the Buckeyes were just 6-of-26 from beyond the arc.
- The Buckeyes had three players (Cooper 25, Mitchell 21 and Alston 20) score 20 points in the same game for the first time all season.
Hey! I Know You Guys
- Minnesota head coach Marlene Stollings and associate head coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins both have Ohio State ties.
- Stollings played two seasons for the Buckeyes in 1993-94 and 1994-95 before transferring and Dawkins was one of the best to ever don the Scarlet and Gray.
- Dawkins helped lead the Buckeyes to three Big Ten Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances from 1985-89.
- Stollings is a Chillicothe, Ohio native. She averaged over five points per game and made 52 three-pointers in her two seasons.
- During her playing career, Dawkins earned Kodak All-America First Team and Street & Smith All-America First Team honors, Chicago Tribune Player of the Year recognition, All-Big Ten First Team accolades.
- She was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
- Dawkins would go on to win four gold medals, three as a player and one as a coach, with USA Basketball after she left Columbus.