Player of the game: It might seem a odd pick given her 14 missed shots, but one of the highlights of this game was the work of Western Kentucky’s Kendall Noble.
The No. 5 seed Ohio State women’s basketball team dominated the No. 4 seed Kentucky Wildcats 82-68 with sharp shooting and tough defense in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Lexington, Kentucky. It was Schilkey’s 27th goal of the season.
“We just had to punch them in the face, as we say”, she said. The ball wouldn’t go in the hole for us. The junior from Chicago affected every facet of the game, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Mitchell said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever had an experience as a coach (relating to this season), and this is certainly not the most wins we’ve had, but you talk about a great team, great group of young women, and that’s where all of my emotions are”.
Matthew Mitchell was concerned about Ohio State being athletic. The crowd at Memorial Coliseum gave both Akhator and Epps a loud standing ovation as they checked out of the game with seconds remaining.
The Badgers defeated Ohio State 2-1 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals to advance to the conference championship.
A year ago, Ohio State’s path to the Sweet 16 was though Columbus as the Buckeyes earned hosting privileges as the No. 3-seed in their region. Rogers scored the first six points for WKU on two 3s. The third-period Tally from Johnson broke the 1-1 tie in the third period. The Buckeyes went the first 4:49 of the second period without a made bucket, allowing WKU to edge ahead 23-22 on a pair of Tashia Brown free throws. Barely 10 seconds later, Mitchell pulled up from the top of the key and hit a 3-pointer, her first field goal after 19 minutes of frustration.
The Spartans trailed 2-0 early in the first before scoring three straight goals to take a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes.
Mason Jobst scored first for Ohio State, on a shot that went over Michigan State goaltender Ed Minney’s right shoulder at 4:09 of the first period.
“We just didn’t get shots to fall”, said senior Micah Jones, who had three points on 1-for-7 shooting. “Obviously for our team, this is a huge weekend for our team to try to get a tournament bid, and hopefully we’ll play the same way tomorrow and we’ll have great memories of my last two games here”. Akhator scored the first six for Kentucky, and she, Epps, and Morris scored all but two of the team’s points in the first quarter. Down 19 points, Epps makes it 65-64 Ohio State and Memorial Coliseum is going wild. The Lady Toppers had to be content down 50-43 going into the fourth. Kentucky eventually cut the deficit back down to as little as a single point, but it never pulled level.
Noble and Coe each missed desperation 3-point attempts in the last 14 seconds. Said McGuff, “What it comes down to is that we kind of have to be the best version of ourselves and really focus to make sure we’re doing the things that make us special”. “And everyone just bought into what we had to do to be successful tonight, and I think that’s why we played so well”.