It didn’t come easily, but Ohio State women’s basketball started Big Ten play with a win over a ranked opponent.
The 12th-ranked Buckeyes trailed No. 25 Penn State for the entire second and third quarters but outscored the Nittany Lions 21-12 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The Buckeyes controlled the extra period to secure a 94-84 win over the visiting Nittany Lions and improve to 8-1 on the year with their second ranked win in as many Sundays.
Jacy Sheldon scored a season-high 31 points and Cotie McMahon added 27 points to lead the Buckeyes to the tightly contested victory. Makenna Marisa scored 28 points for Penn State before leaving the game with an injury in overtime.
|#12 OHIO STATE
|#25 PENN STATE
Ohio State got out to a slow start offensively, making just two of its first eight shots, but the Buckeyes’ defense kept them in the game early as they forced six turnovers and gave up just four points in the first five minutes. Marisa tied the game at 7-7 just over halfway through the first quarter with a 3-pointer.
The offensive pace on both sides picked up from there as both teams finished the first quarter with exactly 26 points. Marisa and Sheldon each scored 10 points in the first quarter for their respective sides.
Penn State started the second quarter on a 15-3 run to take a 41-29 lead over the home team. The Buckeyes responded with a 7-0 run of their own to close the gap, but the Nittany Lions scored eight of their first half’s final 10 points to take a 50-40 lead into halftime.
Marisa led all players with 18 points and six rebounds in the first half as the Nittany Lions made 58% of their shots from the field, including seven of nine 3-point attempts, in the first two quarters. Ohio State, on the other hand, made just two of 12 first-half shots from beyond the arc.
Penn State started the second half with a Shay Ciezki 3-pointer to take a 13-point lead, but the Nittany Lions would score only eight minutes over the next 7:56 of game time. The Buckeyes came up with an 8-0 run to make it a two-point game with 1:55 left to play in the third quarter, but Penn State finished the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 68-59 lead into the final period.
Ohio State started the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run, bookended by a pair of threes from Sheldon and Rebeka Mikulasikova, to take a one-point lead with 6:21 to play. But the game remained tight from there, and Penn State took a 76-75 lead with 2:03 to play on five consecutive points by Marisa.
McMahon, who made just two of her first 10 free throws for the game, responded by sinking a pair of free throws to put Ohio State back ahead by one. Celeste Taylor drained a 3-pointer on Ohio State’s next possession to give the Buckeyes a four-point lead with 44 seconds to go.
But after a layup by Marisa, a turnover by Mikulasikova led to a layup in transition for Penn State’s Taylor Valladay to tie the game at 80-80 with 11 seconds to play. Ohio State was unable to score on the final possession, sending the game to overtime.
McMahon and Sheldon combined to score the first nine points of overtime, giving the Buckeyes a commanding lead with less than two minutes to play. Penn State would not score its first points of overtime until Ciezki made a pair of free throws with 1:01 left on the clock, and the Nittany Lions would just score four total points in the extra frame.
Sheldon scored five more points on free throws in the game’s final minute to reach a new season-high with 31 points and secure a 10-point victory for the Buckeyes.
Sunday’s game was the second of five straight home games for Ohio State, who will host Grand Valley State in its next game at Value City Arena at 6 p.m. Friday. The Buckeyes will follow that by hosting UCLA, currently the second-ranked team in the country, at 6:30 p.m. Monday in a nationally televised game on FS1.
- It was the first overtime game for the Buckeyes since an 88-86 win over South Florida on Dec. 20, 2022.
- Ohio State has now won eight straight games since its season-opening loss to USC. The Buckeyes are now 2-1 against ranked opponents this season with wins over Tennessee and Penn State in back-to-back weeks.
- Madison Greene made her season debut for the Buckeyes after missing Ohio State’s first eight games of the year while recovering from a season-ending knee injury she suffered last December. She did not score in her four minutes of game time.
- Celeste Taylor posted a double-double for the Buckeyes with 13 points and 11 rebounds.