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tBBC OSUWBB: Buckeyes Dominated by Spartans in Big Ten Semifinals

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OSUWBB: Buckeyes Dominated by Spartans in Big Ten Semifinals
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Ohio State ended up as the number two seed in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament after a heartbreaking triple overtime loss to Michigan State in the regular season finale. The Buckeyes got a chance at revenge today when they took on the Spartans in tournament semifinals. That shot at revenge was made more difficult as Ameryst Alston had suffered a sprained wrist in yesterday’s game against Rutgers that was clearly bothering her despite a brace and ice.

For the second straight game Ohio State got off to a slow start offensively and Michigan State took advantage to get out to a 16-6 lead eight minutes into the first quarter; both OSU baskets in that stretch were threes by Kelsey Mitchell. The Buckeyes finally got a little bit of offense going in the final couple minutes of the quarter, closing with a 6 to 2 run to cut the Spartan lead to 18-12.

Ohio State’s offensive struggles continued at the start of the second quarter as the Michigan State defense hounded the Buckeyes, limiting their ability to get the ball inside. After trading baskets early, the Spartans went on a 13 to 2 run to extend their lead to 35-18 with four minutes left in the half. The Buckeyes finally made a basket but it didn’t matter as Michigan State scored the last 9 points of the half to put the game out of reach and send OSU went into halftime down 44-20.

The second half was just an exercise in waiting for the clock to run down. Ohio State had no answers as Michigan State dominated the game on the way to a 82-63 win.

There is nothing good to say about this game, Ohio State got absolutely demolished. Michigan State deserves a lot of credit for putting together a great game plan, namely a defensive attack that frustrated the Buckeyes and shut down Kelsey Mitchell in a way nobody else has. That said, OSU failed in this game all around. The players looked confused by the MSU defense and settled for contested outside shots instead of finding a way to attack. The coaches seemed incapable of coming up with any adjustments and worst of all the players seemed to give up until some little surge of pride finally kicked in during garbage time.

With this loss Ohio State has now lost 3 of their last 4 games, lost a regular season Big Ten title, lost a shot at a Big Ten tournament title, and seen their seeding in the NCAA tournament fall from what would have been a high 2 seed to what will most likely be a middling three seed and the only reason they won’t fall lower is that a lot of other teams they are battling with for seeding dropped the ball this weekend.

The only good news for the Buckeyes is that there is almost two weeks before they will play their first NCAA tournament game and thus they will have a lot of time to analyze what went wrong, try to fix, and think about all the blown opportunities. They will have their work cut out for them if they want to live up to the potential they showed for most of the season.

Michigan State will take on top seeded Maryland in tomorrow’s title game. The Terrapins ended the Cinderella run of 12 seed Northwestern in the other semifinal game.

The post OSUWBB: Buckeyes Dominated by Spartans in Big Ten Semifinals appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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