Buckeyes Ousted From Women’s BTT

By Jeff Rapp, March 5th, 2017

Ohio State arrived to Indianapolis for the women’s Big Ten Tournament on a roll, adorned with a 1-seed and with full confidence in its offense.

The problem is the Buckeyes met a team in the semifinals – fearless Purdue – that was confident in its own right and ready to shut down conference Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell – again.

After scoring 22 points in the first period, the Buckeyes couldn’t match that total in the second and third quarters combined. Their comeback bid fell short in an eventual 71-60 loss on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, a defeat that knocked them out of the tournament and out of another epic battle with Maryland.

The Buckeyes, who had won 12 in a row, fell to 26-6 overall and now must await their draw in the NCAA Tournament, which won’t be announced until March 13.

Purdue (21-11) earned a shot at the second-seeded Terrapins in Sunday’s championship game.

Shayla Cooper led OSU with her third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four assists. Linnae Harper added 12 points and seven rebounds.

However, Mitchell was held to a season-low output of nine points. She was 3 of 17 from the field in an earlier matchup with the Boilermakers and ended up a dreadful 3 of 22 (1 of 12 from deep) in the rematch in Indy. Mitchell also had just two assists and two turnovers in 39 minutes of frustration.

Freshman Tori McCoy blocked an OSU Big Ten Tournament record seven shots. Those were half of the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament record 14 blocks in the game.

Ashley Morrissette had 24 points and seven assists to lead Purdue. Freshman guard Dominique Oden added 20 points in an impressively composed performance.

The Boilermakers and the Buckeyes were tied 11 times in the first half. Purdue made eight 3-pointers, including two at the end of the half that gave it a five-point lead at the break.

The difference was at the foul line. Purdue shot 91 percent from the free-throw line (21 of 23) while the Buckeyes were 47 percent (7 of 15).