It’s been quite the week for Ohio State women’s basketball. The Buckeyes surged with seven wins in eight games down the stretch while other teams atop the league faltered, claiming a share of the Big Ten title with Iowa and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 2022 Big Ten Tournament in the process thanks to a 92-88 victory over those Hawkeyes to spark that end-of-season run back on Jan. 31.
Now, only two days later, the Buckeyes are again bringing home some league honors. Superstar guard duo Taylor Mikesell and Jacy Sheldon were both recognized as first-team All-Big Ten players on both the media and coaches ballots, with Sheldon earning unanimous honors among the coaches. They’re the lone Buckeyes selected for the post-season all-league teams. Sheldon was also picked to the all-defensive team.
Mikesell and Sheldon are joined on the media ballot by Indiana’s Grace Berger, Northwestern’s Veronica Burton, Caitlin Clark and Monika Czinano of Iowa, Michigan State’s Nia Clouden, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon, Penn State;’s Makenna Marisa and Angel Reese of Maryland. Clark and Hillmon were the lone unanimous picks.
The coaches poll is identical but lists Burton, Clark, Clouden, Hillmon and Sheldon as unanimous picks. Braxtin Miller is the only Buckeye included among the honorable mentions, getting the nod there from the media. Rikki Harris was the OSU pick for the Sportsmanship Award Honoree.
Mikesell averaged 19.1 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting from the field (47.1 percent from 3-point range, which leads the league) with 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while Sheldon – who assumed point guard duties in the middle of the season – led the team in points (19.4), assists (4.0) and steals (1.8) per game, shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from deep. She’s also one of 10 national finalists for the Ann Myers-Drysdale Award, which goes to the best shooting guard.
Clark – for her 27.5 points, 8.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game – was selected by both the media and coaches and the league’s player of the year. Burton was picked as the league’s defensive player of the year for the third consecutive season, collecting 4.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest. Nebraska’s Alexis Markowski, a second-team pick in both polls, earned freshman of the year honors after averaging 13.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Michigan’s Kim Barnes Arico is the coach of the year, leading her bunch to a 22-5 record.
The Buckeyes will square off with the winner of Michigan State and Purdue on March 4 at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. They swept the Spartans on the season – 89-83 on Jan. 12 in Columbus and then 61-55 on Feb. 27 at MSU to end the season – and beat Purdue on the road, 70-53, in their one meeting on Dec. 5.