Ohio State Women's Basketball Falls to Michigan 69-60 in Ann Arbor

By George Eisner on December 30, 2023 at 2:35 pm
Guard Jacy Sheldon of The Ohio State Buckeyes
Barbara J. Perenic — Columbus Dispatch, USA TODAY NETWORK

A bounce-back over Belmont last week for Ohio State Women's Basketball proved to be short-lived, as the team's first post-Christmas game ended Saturday afternoon in a 69-60 defeat to Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Ohio State somewhat struggled out of the gate, picking up more offensive fouls than points through the opening six minutes. Cotie McMahon committed two of those charges within a minute of each other, which put the Buckeyes in a difficult spot early relative to foul trouble. Meanwhile, Michigan went on a 9-0 run following the Buckeyes' lone bucket to begin the game.

Fortunately, from then-on to end the quarter, OSU ripped off a 9-3 run of its own fueled by aggressive play from Taylor Thierry on both ends of the court. Those efforts helped narrow the gap to a 12-11 score at the conclusion of the first 10 minutes.

The run for the Buckeyes would continue into the second quarter, as Jacy Sheldon would help OSU add another eight points before conceding any more to the Wolverines. However, when McMahon attempted to check back in after Ohio State built up a five point lead, she would end up committing her third foul of the afternoon prior to halfway through the second quarter. Subsequently, one of the team's best players had to once again return to the bench early.

Five lead changes would take place over the last four minutes of the half, while Celeste Taylor knocked in a pair of what would prove to be the Buckeyes' only three-point field goals through the opening two quarters. However, the back-and-forth nature of the game saw Ohio State enter the locker room down by a 27-26 score.

Michigan emerged from the half by putting up a 7-0 run through the initial four minutes to increase the Wolverines' lead to eight points. But in a similar style to the opening quarter — and aided by finally having the presence of McMahon on the court for a significant stretch — the Buckeyes battled back. A 15-1 run of their own over the following four minutes allowed the women of OSU to recapture the lead to the tune of a 45-42 score entering the final quarter.

The closing 10 minutes began quite competitively, with four lead changes over the first three minutes that saw the Wolverines go back in front. Unfortunately, with the game knotted at 51 points apiece at six and a half minutes remaining, Michigan put together an 11-3 run heading into the final two minutes to build out a 62-54 lead. A sequence in which Sheldon committed an offensive foul before missing back-to-back threes on ensuing possessions exemplified the lack of consistent offensive production in the final quarter, and the Buckeyes would ultimately fall 69-60 to the Wolverines.

Taylor finished as OSU's leading scorer with 16 points, but shot just 2-9 from distance on an afternoon that saw the Buckeyes only hit just over 20% of their 24 three-point attempts. Sheldon's seven points finished as her second-lowest total of the season, while McMahon scored merely five of her own after sitting with foul trouble for most of the first half.

Ohio State and Michigan combined for 34 total turnovers, and the Buckeyes finished with 10 more fouls than the Wolverines. The women's basketball team will have a few days to address this rivalry loss before traveling to Evanston next Friday to face the Northwestern Wildcats.

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