COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s basketball team (17-6; 8-4 Big Ten) fell to Michigan State (14-8; 7-4 Big Ten), 65-64, in the final seconds tonight at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. Despite recovering from a 20-point deficit and holding the Spartans to without a field goal for nearly eight minutes in the second half, Michigan State’s Liz Shimek hit a bucket in the lane with eight ticks left on the clock to seal the victory. Sophomore Caity Matter led the Buckeyes with 22 points and freshman Kim Wilburn distributed nine assists, earned three steals and had only two turnovers.
After being down 20 (49-29) points with 13:47 to go after a three-point play by Michigan State’s Kelli Roehrig, Ohio State went on a 33-10 scoring run over the next 11 minutes to take a three-point lead (62-59), their largest and only advantage of the game. The streak began with three consecutive Matter shots from downtown and five points from senior Courtney Coleman. Senior DiDi Reynolds continued the Buckeye’s sharp shooting from behind the arc with a shot that brought Ohio State to within three points and Matter hit yet another trey after MSU’s Syreeta Bromfield nailed two free-throws to bring the Buckeyes to within two points. Senior D’wan Shackleford hit a bucket under the basket to tie the game at 57 and Reynolds nailed her second three of the night to capture a three-point lead (62-59) with 2:34 left on the game clock.
Spartan Kristin Haynie made a shot to pull her squad to within one point (62-61) and Roehrig contributed to her perfect night from the line by sinking two of her seven total free throws, which sent the Spartans up 63-62 with 1:27 to go. Matter banked in a 2-point shot from the wing with 35 seconds left prior to Shimek’s game-winning field goal. The Buckeyes has a chance at the end with an Ashley Allen 3-point attempt that hit the rim, but was off target.
Michigan State dominated the first half of play with an inside-outside combination of Lindsay Bowen, who was 4-of-6 from the 3-point line for a total of 12 points, and Roehrig, who also scored 12 points off a 5-for-7 performance under the bucket. Matter and Wilburn led the Buckeyes with eight and six tallies, respectively. The Spartans were a force to reckon with on the boards by outrebounding the Buckeyes 21-12 in the initial 20 minutes.
After going scoreless in the first half of action, Coleman added 11 points (3-4), including a 5-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. Reynolds earned 10 tallies for Ohio State.
Roehrig, a 6-4 sophomore, scored 25 points and grabbed a game-high nine boards; Bowen scored 16 points for MSU. The Spartans were a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Buckeyes on the boards 34-26.
Ohio State continues their road swing with a trip to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers at 4 p.m. EST in Williams Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN Regional.