No. 13 Ohio State closed its non-conference schedule with a road win against an in-state foe as the Buckeyes downed Cincinnati 87-76.
|#13 Ohio State||19||19||31||18||87|
Kelsey Mitchell and Sierra Calhoun were the offensive MVPs on Sunday afternoon. The duo combined for 51 points in the game, hitting a combined eight three-pointers. Mitchell finished with a game-high 31 points while Calhoun had 20, 16 of which came in the second half.
Mitchell, who became Ohio State's all-time leading scorer earlier this month, is no stranger to high scoring performances, but Sunday's showing was one of the most well-rounded of her career. In front of a hometown crowd, the Cincinnati native put up near-triple double numbers, finishing with nine assists and seven rebounds to go with her 31 points.
Overshadowed a bit by Michell and Calhoun's performances, Linnae Harper quietly had an impressive game as well, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds for yet another double-double this season.
|34-83 (41%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||30-67 (45%)|
|11-29 (38%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-21 (29%)|
|8-12 (67%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||10-15 (67%)|
The Buckeyes didn't shoot the ball particularly well to start the game. At the half, Ohio State was just 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range, but the it was still effective thanks to pesky defense. The Buckeyes forced nine first-half turnovers leading to 13 points, while only allowing two points off their own turnovers. This allowed Ohio State to hold a narrow 38-37 halftime lead.
As usual, the Buckeyes pulled away in the second half. Led by Mitchell and Calhoun, who combined for 26 of the team's 31 third-quarter points, Ohio State outscored Cincinnati by 12 points in the quarter thanks to a 6-for-9 performance from behind the arc.
Ohio State coasted in the fourth, extending the lead to start before turning it over to some bench players including Cincinnati native, Chelsea Mitchell.
With the win, Ohio State closes the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 11-2 record, which includes two wins over now No. 18 Stanford with the only losses coming to No. 14 Duke and No. 3 Louisville.
The Buckeyes are now off until after Christmas and begin Big Ten Conference play on the road against Nebraska on Thursday Dec. 28.