Mitchell Leads Buckeyes Past Rival Michigan
With Ohio State’s women’s basketball team battling rival Michigan in overtime, star guard Kelsey Mitchell tallied one of her many important baskets then awkwardly bent her lower right leg as it caught under the stanchion.
It was a scary moment for everyone in visiting scarlet, and left coach Kevin McGuff wondering how to manage the final 2:52 of the extra session.
However, Mitchell was able to recover and returned to the Crisler Arena floor in time to add some more heroism to her resume. Behind the senior’s season-high 37 points, No. 10 Ohio State posted a 78-71 victory over the No. 22 Wolverines.
Mitchell scored 27 of her 37 points after halftime, including nine of the 14 points in the extra session. She is now just two points away from becoming the 13th player in NCAA history to score 3,000 career points.
Several other players also came through for the Buckeyes, who improved to 15-2 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten.
Sierra Calhoun hit a season-high tying four three-pointers, which including a key shot from the corner in overtime. She finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Linnae Harper led the Buckeyes with eight rebounds to go along with 12 points. Playing in her home state for perhaps the final time, senior Asia Doss scored six points and dished-out three assists.
The Buckeyes limited one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league to just 4 of 15 for the game. Hallie Thome had 27 points and Katelyn Flaherty scored 22 but no other UM player finished in double-figures.
Mitchell and Calhoun both made a pair of threes in the opening quarter and the Buckeyes shot 56 percent to lead 24-18 after the first. But the second quarter was a different story as the Buckeyes were held to a season-low six points. OSU hit just 3 of 14 shot attempts in the period and led just 30-29 at halftime.
Neither team was able to take more than a four-point lead at any point in the third quarter and the fourth quarter also was tight. Nicole Munger’s three gave UM a 61-60 lead with 4:14 left in regulation and Flaherty’s turning stepback hit a three provided a 64-62 lead with exactly a minute to go.
Mitchell answered with a coast-to-coast layup to tie the game and neither team was able to score in the waning seconds. The lefty then opened the overtime period with a deep three and moments later scored on a drive to give the Buckeyes a two-possession lead, paving the way to victory.
OSU has won eight in a row and next travels to Bloomington, Ind., to take on Indiana on Jan. 13 (noon Eastern, Big Ten Network).