BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ohio State does it again. For the third consecutive game, the Buckeyes take down a Top 15 foe, this time on the road, beating No. 16/15 Indiana 78-70 on Thursday.
This is just the second time in program history that the Buckeyes have registered three consecutive wins over Top 15 ranked opponents. The only other time came during the team’s Final Four in late March of 1993.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) January 29, 2021
Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) needed a big night from Braxtin Miller and she certainly delivered. Miller scored a season-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five steals. The 25 points were her most as a Buckeye.
Junior forward Dorka Juhasz seemed to return to form as she finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
In the previous two wins, sophomore guards Jacy Sheldon and Madison Greene had carried the team. So naturally, they are allowed a night off, right? The two combined to shoot just 1-of-15. But as is the case with every good “team”, their teammates had their backs.
Junior Aaliyah Patty returned to the court from a shoulder injury that sidelined her the last two games and she finished with 13 points.
Sophomore Rikki Harris, playing in her home state for the first time, stepped up in a big way. She scored seven points on 2-of-3 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. She provided a spark off the bench at just the right time.
Ohio State switched to a 3-2 zone in the second half and it really gave Indiana issues. The Hoosiers shot just 34 percent in the second half and committed a season-high 17 turnovers. The Buckeyes forced their hand with 11 steals.
The old adage is that basketball is a game of runs and, on Thursday, the Buckeyes had the last one. Indiana raced out of the gate to an 11-0 lead as the Buckeyes looked a bit sluggish. Ohio State slowly battled back behind five steals and 16 first half points by Miller. Juhasz also had 13 points and the Buckeyes trailed just 39-38 at the break.
Neither team was able to break free in the third as the IU lead remained at one heading to the fourth. That is when the Buckeyes took their turn at an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter. That spurt gave the Buckeyes a 64-54 lead with 5:29 to play.
Indiana looked poised for a comeback, scoring six quick points to cut the lead to four just a minute later. Miller than hit the biggest shot of the game, a pull-up jumper in the paint, to stem the tide and she later followed with a dagger three from the wing to shove the lead out to 71-60 with two minutes to play. The result was never in question the rest of the way.
The Buckeyes will look for a fourth consecutive win over a ranked team on Monday when they travel to No. 23 Northwestern. Tip is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on BTN.