Around the Oval on Friday, Feb. 15

By Grant Miller on February 15, 2013 at 12:00p
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Around the Oval is Eleven Warriors' weekly love letter to Ohio State sports that don't get the coverage they should.

While the men's basketball squad had a tough week after facing two of the top teams in the nation, the Lady Buckeyes were coming off back-to-back wins for the first time since the end of December. 

"Can't we have a buzzer beater every game?"Foster pondering tactics

After the heroics of Thursday night's win over Wisconsin, the team's confidence was visibly elevated when they lined up against Northwestern, and that newfound momentum would help them down the stretch.

Aided by Tayler Hill's 26-point performance, the Buckeyes found a way to beat the Wildcats, 59-52, in Evanston. 

There were also significant contributions from Ashley Adams and Amber Stokes yet again. Both players had seven rebounds, while Adams was the only other Buckeye scorer in double-digits with 13. Darryce Moore also had 12 rebounds and three assists. 

Led by Hill, who also had six steals, Ohio State forced the Wildcats into 20 turnovers, and effectively kept control of the entirety of the game through their prowess at both ends of the floor. 

Looking to tie their season high of four wins in a row, the Buckeyes traveled to Lincoln last night to face Nebraska. At first they looked as if they would continue playing at the same level as their previous games, but the hometown Huskers would not be denied.

Though Ohio State only trailed by four at half, they were outscored by 15 in the second half, a statistic that was all too common with some of the team's losses earlier in the season. Nebraska's late 9-0 run kept the Buckeyes out of reach, and they eventually claimed the victory, 58-39

Hill was the only Buckeye in double digits with 20, while Adams led the rebounding category with nine.

Jim Foster's squad is now 14-11 and only 4-8 in the Big Ten. Three of their final four regular season games are here in Columbus, with the next one coming on Thursday night against Minnesota. Tipoff is 6 p.m. at the Schott. 

Men's Hockey

Facing their longest trip of the year and an opponent who was looking to overtake them in the standings, the Ohio State men's hockey team emerged from Alaska with a credible weekend split, maintaining their one-point advantage over the Nanooks in the CCHA standings.

By the time the first game ended, though, it looked as if the Buckeyes' big trip was going to be a painful for more reasons than just their arduous journey. Even with a strong start to Friday night's game, which included Alex Szczechura scoring his seventh goal of the year to give the visitors an early advantage, it was not to be their night. From the moment Colton Beck scored ten minutes later to tie the game up for Alaska, it was all Nanooks. Three more goals in the second period and two in the third condemned Mark Osiecki and his squad to a 6-1 defeat, their biggest loss of the season and first since January 19.

After scoring six goals in one game themselves during each of the past two weekends, goaltender Brady Hjelle and his defensive corps were given a taste of their own medicine. Luckily for them, it proved to be the catalyst for a much more accomplished performance the following evening.

Ohio State struck first yet again on Saturday, Tanner Fritz scoring a power play goal not long into the second period. But with only :26 left on the clock in the middle frame, Alaska's Andy Taranto was given too much time in the offensive zone and quickly shot past Hjelle to tie the game heading into the final period.

Whatever was said by Coach Osiecki at the second intermission must have gotten across to the players, as they were able to ride out Alaska's constant attacks to keep themselves in contention. Finally the defensive solidarity paid off, as Darik Angeli stole a puck away from an Alaska player in the neutral zone and led the odd man rush by dangling past a defender and sending a wrist shot past the goaltender Keeney.

An extremely similar situation resulted in Ohio State's crucial third goal, though it was Dzingel this time who skated up the right boards, past two defenders and duly slotted home to score the Buckeyes' second goal in less than two minutes and all but wrap up the 3-1 win.

With the weekend share of the points, Ohio State is now 11-7-4-1 in conference, and have two straight home weekends upcoming. First up it's Western Michigan, currently second in the CCHA and sixth in the nation. The Broncos have strength throughout the team, with goalie Frank Slubowski's goals against average second in conference behind only Ohio State's own Brady Hjelle. Both puck drops are set for 7:05 p.m. at Value City Arena, and one would be advised to catch at least one game if they can — they should be dandies.

Women's Hockey

Coach Nate Handrahan and the Buckeye women's hockey team faced an incredibly tough task last weekend as they squared off against the No. 1 team in the nation in Minnesota, who were a perfect 28-0-0 on the season, an amazing statistic.  

The Gophers quickly asserted their dominance on Friday night, scoring only two minutes into the game. They added another in the beginning of the second, but Ohio State was not going to be beaten quietly.

Capitalizing on a power play opportunity, sophomore Danielle Gagne scored her seventh goal of the year. Less than three minutes later, the Buckeyes found themselves at level pegging after senior Hokey Langan scored what was also her seventh of the season.  

Gust scored her first of the year

The home team's momentum didn't last long, though, as Minnesota regained the lead only four minutes later, and they wouldn't let it go for the rest of the night. Two final tallies in the third period finished Ohio State off, and the Gophers ran out comprehensive winners, 5-2.

Ohio State began in much better fashion on Saturday than they had the night before, with sophomore Kari Schmitt giving them the lead only five minutes in. After Minnesota answered four minutes later, the Buckeyes took the lead for a second time, the goal coming on the power play from senior Tina Hollowell.

But their first intermission lead would be their last of the night, as two even strength goals in the second and one in the third reasserted Minnesota's dominance. A third period goal by senior Kara Gust proved to be mere consolation as the visitors claimed the sweep with a 5-3 victory.

The Buckeyes now sit 11-11-2 in conference and are fifth in the WCHA standings. They face their final road weekend of the season this week, traveling to Grand Forks to face North Dakota. Both puck drops are 8:07 p.m. ET.

Baseball

Yes — believe it or not — it's that time of year again: baseball is back. America's pastime is poised to take over our lives for several months, including on the campus of the Ohio State University. 

This season is the 130th of Buckeye baseball, and it begins this weekend with the team traveling to Sarasota to compete in three games. They face Mercer on Friday, Notre Dame on Saturday and St. John's on Sunday.

Eleven pitchers and eight starting position players return for the Buckeyes, who are ranked fourth in the Big Ten coaches' preseason poll behind Indiana, Nebraska and Michigan State. Ohio State's games on Friday and Saturday will start at 6 p.m. and their matchup on Sunday is at 10 a.m. Their first home game is March 15th at Bill Davis Stadium against Bryant. 

Bands

There are few happenings this week in the Ohio State band universe:

  • On Saturday, the Athletic Band will perform the inimitable "Script Ohio", only this time...on ice! The rendition will be displayed during both intermissions of the men's hockey game against Western Michigan. 
  • On Monday evening head on over to the Weigel Hall Auditorium at 8 p.m. to see the OSU Jazz Ensemble. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for students.
  • Then on Thursday there will be another band tooting their horns, and this time it's the OSU Symphonic Band. The show's location, start time and ticket prices are the same as Monday's. For ticket information regarding either performance, contact the Ohio State Theatre Box Office at (614) 292-2295.
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southbymidwest's picture

Thanks for the updates, Grant!