Jan. 25, 2017
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Setting the Scene
• The Buckeyes will look to sweep the season series with Minnesota when it travels to Minneapolis for a midweek tilt on Thursday.
- Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET from Williams Arena.
- This is the first repeat opponent for the Buckeyes this season.
- Both teams like to play fast and get shots up. The Buckeyes lead the conference at just over 70 shots per game while the Gophers are third at just over 67 shots per contest. Overall, OSU puts up the fifth-most shots of any team in the country per game and Minnesota is 13th.
- Ohio State has won three-straight since dropping its lone Big Ten contest and is coming-off an 88-64 win over Illinois last Sunday.
- Minnesota opened conference play with three-straight losses and has since split the last four games. The Gophers are coming off an 80-65 defeat at Iowa last Saturday.
- The game will be streamed online on BTN Plus.
- The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Noting The Buckeyes
- The Buckeyes are 17-5 on the season and have won three-straight conference games to improve to 7-1.
- Ohio State is ranked 15th in the latest AP poll and 14th in the coaches poll.
- OSU held each of its last three opponents — Purdue, Wisconsin and Illinois to under their season scoring averages.
- The 16-point comeback victory at Purdue on Jan. 15 was the largest margin erased in a victory since also erasing a 16-point deficit in the Big Ten Tournament title game on March 7, 2010.
- After scoring a school-record 86.0 ppg last season, the Buckeyes are fifth in the country in scoring at 86.4 ppg.
- Stephanie Mavunga leads the Big Ten in rebounding at 11.4 rebounds per game.
- Mavunga has recorded a team-best eight double-doubles this season.
- OSU scored 87 or more points in the first four Big Ten games this season which game them a school-record streak of eight straight games dating back to last season.
- The Buckeyes have grabbed 50 or more rebounds in nine games this season — the most since the 1981-82 season — and are second in the country with 1,024 rebounds.
- Kelsey Mitchell became the fastest player in NCAA history to 2,000 career points as she reached the mark in just 79 games.
- Mitchell has scored 2,262 career points and is fourth all-time in OSU history.
- Mitchell is also the school’s all-time three-point leader with 324 career three-pointers and is just the fifth player in Big Ten history to surpass 300 career three-point field goals.
- Mitchell leads the Big Ten and is sixth in the country in scoring at 22.7 ppg.
- Since the team’s last meeting on Dec. 28, the Gophers have gone 2-4 and enter Thursday’s game with a record of 11-9 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
- The Gophers are coming off an 80-65 setback last Saturday at Iowa.
- Minnesota’s two conference wins have come at home against Wisconsin and Illinois.
- The Gophers are third in the conference in rebounding at 45.5 per game but are last in the league in allowing 43.8 rebounds per game.
- All-Big Ten guard Carlie Wagner leads the team in scoring at 19.4 ppg and has made a team-high 53 three-pointers.
- Guard Kenisha Bell leads the team in both assists and steals while averaging 16.5 points per game.
- Gadiva Hubbard is the third Gopher averaging in double figures at 13.7 ppg. Jessie Edwards tops the team on the glass at 7.6 rpg while scored 7.4 ppg.
Series History vs. Minnesota
- Ohio State and Minnesota are meeting for the 73rd time.
- The Buckeyes hold a 55-17 lead in the all-time series.
- OSU leads 20-11 in games played in Minneapolis but have lost the last four games in Williams Arena.
- The last OSU win at Minnesota came on Feb. 13, 2011.
- In games played in Columbus, the Buckeyes lead the series 26-3 which includes a victory earlier this season in each team’s Big Ten opener.
- 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 3-3 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 Time vs. Minnesota
- Ohio State used a pair of first half runs to gain separation and would roll to an 87-62 victory over Minnesota on Dec. 28, 2016 in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
- Kelsey Mitchell made five three-point field goals to finish with a game-high 23 points to go along with six assists.
- Linnae Harper scored 12 points and pulled-down a game-high 12 rebounds for her first double-double as a Buckeye.
- Stephanie Mavunga was the third Buckeye in double-figures with 10 points and a season-high four blocks.
- Kenisha Bell led the Gophers with 14 points and five assists. Carlie Wagner had a tough game, finishing with 12 points on 0-of-9 from long range.
- Minnesota opened the game 1-of-10 from the floor which allowed the Buckeyes to go on an 11-0 run and build an early 13-4 lead. OSU then opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run to break the game open and take a 38-18 lead. But Minnesota was able to crawl back within shouting distance before halftime as the Buckeyes finished the second quarter making just three of its final 21 shots.
- Ohio State’s defense stepped-up in the third quarter and limited the Gophers to just 10 points on 3-of-18 shooting and the lead was 65-43 after three.
- The Buckeyes forced Minnesota into 24 turnovers and scored 18 points off those miscues.
- OSU also made nine three-pointers on the night while holding Minnesota to an OSU opponent-low three makes from long range.
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.