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tBBC OSUWBB: Ameryst Alston Reaches 2,000 Points in Win Over Iowa


OSUWBB: Ameryst Alston Reaches 2,000 Points in Win Over Iowa
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Following an impressive performance in their victory over #5 Maryland, the #7 Ohio State women’s basketball team headed to Iowa tonight. The Hawkeyes entered the game with a 15-9, 5-7 in the Big Ten, record but the Buckeyes couldn’t take this game lightly as Iowa City has been a nightmare for them historically; OSU hadn’t won there since 2008.

The game opened with the two teams trading baskets. Ohio State got off to a hot shooting start but couldn’t take full advantage due to turnovers. On the other end, Iowa wasn’t as hot with their shooting and saw a few of their early shots swatted by Alexa Hart. The game was tied at 10 approaching the midpoint of the first quarter when Kelsey Mitchell drained an NBA range three pointer which sparked an 8 to 2 Buckeye run that put them up 18-12 with just under four minutes left in the quarter. The Hawkeyes would pull within three but then OSU cranked up the defensive pressure and closed the quarter with 10 straight points to extend their lead to 28-15.

Iowa made some offensive adjustments to open the second quarter as their guards started to attack the rim and Ohio State didn’t seem too interested in stopping the drives. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, Iowa couldn’t slow down the OSU offense. Ohio State led 45-31 with three minutes remaining in the half but the Hawkeyes weren’t done, using some outside shooting to spark an 8 to 2 run to pull within single digits, 47-39, with just over a minute on the clock. The Buckeyes weren’t rattled though, scoring the last six points of the half to go into the locker room up 53-39.

The Ohio State offense got off to a slow start in the second half but turned things on after Iowa pulled within 11, going on a 12 to 2 run that put them up 67-46 halfway through the third. The run was sparked thanks to a full court press that forced four Hawkeye turnovers in a minute and a half. The Buckeyes controlled the rest of the quarter and held an 83-62 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

The fourth quarter wasn’t as impressive for Ohio State and this was understandable as the game was well in hand. Coach McGuff took advantage of the large lead to get some playing time for less commonly used players, though he still didn’t pull the starters as much as he probably should have, and the different lineups on the court led to some sloppiness. Despite that, Iowa never came close to threatening as Ohio State cruised to a 98-81 win.

Ohio State shot 58% from the field and 39% from outside. That is an amazing shooting percentage and it would have been higher if not for the sloppy fourth quarter; OSU shot 64% through the first three quarters. The Buckeyes did a great job moving the ball, getting 20 assists on 40 baskets while only committing 10 turnovers. Defensively OSU allowed Iowa to shoot 45% from the field but only 27% from outside. The Buckeyes did force 15 turnovers and come up with 7 blocks. Once again Ohio State was out-rebounded but the 40 to 34 margin wasn’t as bad as in some games.

Kelsey Mitchell and Shayla Cooper each scored 20 points to lead the Buckeyes. Mitchell also grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and came up with 2 steals while Cooper had 7 boards, a pair of steals, and a block. Cooper continues to do a great job coming off the bench, her entering the game helped provide the spark that got the OSU offense going tonight.

Ameryst Alston had perhaps the biggest night, scoring 18 points to make her the 6th player in Ohio State women’s basketball history to score more than 2,000 career points. Aslston also added 6 assists and a pair of steals while shooting an impressive 7 of 11.

Alexa Hart added 13 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 3 steals in an impressive performance the really disrupted the Iowa offense. Asia Doss was the fifth Buckeye to reach double digits, scoring 12 points while also having a team high 7 assists.

After Monday’s big win, it would have been understandable for Ohio State to be a bit sluggish in tonight’s game, especially with how this team has tended to let lesser opponents hang around during conference play. Tonight was definitely not the case as after a slow first five minutes, the Buckeyes kicked things into high gear. The offense did a great job of moving the ball and finding scoring from all over the court; any time you have five players in double figures you know you are doing something well. Defensively OSU has struggled a bit this season but that was certainly not the case tonight as the defense showed great energy and movement. The Buckeyes aren’t a team that puts a lot of pressure on the ball handler, instead they do a very good job of stepping into passing lanes and picking off passes. OSU’s style of play means that you’ll never see them as one of the top defenses in terms of points allowed per game as their up tempo offense means opponents are going to get lots of possessions.

Tonight’s win was a big one for Ohio State who is starting to look like the Final Four contender that many people thought they could be at the start of the season. OSU has to keep their focus and intensity up though as they head to Happy Valley on Sunday to take on a Penn State team that upset a ranked Michigan State tonight. That game will tip at 2:00 pm and can be seen on BTN.

The post OSUWBB: Ameryst Alston Reaches 2,000 Points in Win Over Iowa appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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