McGuff’s Buckeyes Endure Rocky League Start

By Jeff Rapp, December 29th, 2018

Kevin McGuff made sure his Ohio State women’s basketball team was well-tested in the preconference portion of the season, and the hope was all those challenges in the early weeks of the campaign would pay off come Big Ten time.

However, it didn’t work out that way in OSU’s league opener.

The Buckeyes played from behind most of the afternoon and produced a couple second-half rallies but never found their footing in a 60-42 loss at Purdue on Friday.

The Boilermakers improved to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play with the victory while Ohio State dipped to 4-6, 0-1.

Carmen Grande, who was a surprise heroine in OSU’s win over North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, was solid in West Lafayette, producing 11 points and six assists. Unfortunately, she received little help as no other Buckeye managed to score in double figures and OSU was a dismal 16 of 56 (28.6 percent) from the field.

Freshman center Dorka Juhasz was just 1 of 7 on the day while fellow starters Makayla Waterman and Carly Santoro each were 2 of 7. Starting guard Adreana Miller was 0 of 5 and did not score in nearly 18 minutes of action.

Najah Queenland made a pair of threes and finished with seven points while Santoro and Waterman each logged six points.

Purdue, which was led by Dominque Owen’s 20 points, put the game away with a 13-1 run over the final 6:56. The Buckeyes made just one free throw and had five turnovers during that closing stretch.

The Buckeyes were off the mark from the outset, making just 4 of 16 shots in the first quarter. However, they forced five Purdue turnovers and trailed just 15-11 after the first 10 minutes.

PU got going in the second, posting a 13-0 run at one juncture and opening up a 34-25 halftime lead. The Boilers finished the half shooting 50.0 percent from the field to OSU’s mark of 29.4.

Purdue scored the first four points of the third quarter but the Buckeyes answered with treys from Waterman and Queenland to get back to within seven at 38-31. Each team traded runs throughout the rest of the quarter and the Purdue lead remained 42-35 after three periods.

A three by Queenland cut the lead to 47-41 with just under seven minutes to play, but that would be the last Buckeye field goal as Purdue took control.

Purdue got no scoring support from its bench but Karissa McLaughlin tacked up 17 points and post Ae’Rianna Harris added a dozen points and five blocks.

The Buckeyes finished with one more turnover (17) than made field goals – never a recipe for success.

They’ll attempt to corral their first Big Ten win of the season at the Schottenstein Center on New Year’s Eve for a matchup with Nebraska beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern.