No. 13 Ohio State picked up an important win on Thursday with the regular season winding down, going on the road to take down Penn State, 67-55.
The Buckeyes (22-5, 11-5 Big Ten) were boosted by freshman forward Cotie McMahon’s first career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), overpowering the Nittany Lions (13-13, 4-11) who shot just 31.3 percent from the field for the contest.
Ohio State jumped out to a 15-5 lead with 5:32 left in the first quarter, taking advantage of seven early points from freshman forward Cotie McMahon. After trading baskets over the next several possessions, Penn State closed the quarter on a 7-2 run, with the Buckeyes holding a 21-16 lead after the opening frame.
While she was not in the starting lineup for Ohio State, forward Rebeka Mikulášiková did check into the game in the first before finishing the contest with 2 points in seven minutes on the floor.
Penn State cut the deficit to five points early in the second after a pair of free throws from guard Makenna Marisa, but Ohio State responded with an 11-2 run to go up 34-20 with 5:25 left in the half, capping off the run with a triple from guard Rikki Harris.
The remainder of the quarter, though, offense was hard to come by for both teams. The Buckeyes made just two of their final eight shots but the Nittany Lions were unable to take advantage, scoring just six points after Harris’ three-pointer as Ohio State carried a 38-26 lead into the half.
Penn State continued to struggle in the third, held to just 11.8 percent shooting (2 of 17) in the frame, with both makes coming in the first minute of the quarter. After guard Taniyah Thompson’s layup with 9:23 left, the Nittany Lions’ only remaining point in the frame came on a free throw with 5:52 left, and were held scoreless from there on out.
On Ohio State’s side, the Buckeyes shot just 31.3 percent in the quarter but were still able to increase their lead to 20 points, up 51-31 entering the fourth. Harris, McMahon and guard Taylor Thierry were the only Buckeyes to score in the third.
In the final frame, Ohio State went up by as many as 29 points after beginning the quarter with three-pointers on three-consecutive possessions. Penn State responded with a 16-0 run and eventually cut the deficit to 11 points, but it came with just under a minute remaining, leaving little time for a comeback.
McMahon led the Buckeyes with 17 points, doing so on 8-of-12 shooting. Harris added 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Thierry also reached double digits, scoring 13 points. Marisa and guard Leilani Kapinus were the only Nittany Lion to finish in double digits, adding 22 and 10 points, respectively, with 18 of Marisa’s coming in the fourth.
Ohio State will stay on the road next, taking on No. 12 Michigan on Monday. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. on FS1.