No. 13 Ohio State (21-4, 10-4 Big Ten) saw a return to form on Wednesday against Minnesota (9-15, 2-11), picking up a comfortable 93-63 win over the Gophers.
Ohio State had one of its best shooting performances of the season, finishing 54.7 percent (35 of 64) from the field, with guard Taylor Mikesell connecting on all six of her three-point attempts.
Despite again playing without guard Jacy Sheldon, who did not take the court after playing on Sunday at Maryland, the Buckeyes looked motivated coming out of the locker room, jumping out to a 17-4 lead with 4:46 left in the first quarter. Ohio State forced five Minnesota turnovers during the opening stretch as the Gophers started just 1 of 7 from the floor.
Freshman forward Cotie McMahon paced the Buckeyes for most of the first quarter, scoring 11 points in the opening frame. Most of those points came from the free-throw line, where McMahon was 7 of 7 to help give Ohio State a 23-10 lead heading into the second.
While McMahon dominated the first quarter, it was guard Taylor Mikesell’s turn in the second frame. She pushed the Buckeyes to a 42-25 lead with 5:08 left in the half by connecting on all four of her three-point attempts in the quarter.
The Buckeyes later increased their lead to as many as 23 points, 48-25, before going into the break up 52-33. Minnesota shot 41.4 percent from the field in the first half but just 22.2 percent (2 of 9) from deep while turning the ball over 12 times, resulting in 14 points off turnovers.
Ohio State, meanwhile, shot 62.1 percent from the field, with Mikesell going into the locker room with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, followed closely by McMahon with 16 points.
The pendulum swung back to McMahon to begin the second half, who – after a series of baskets from Mikesell and guards Rikki Harris and Taylor Thierry – scored the next nine points for the Buckeyes to five them a 68-37 advantage with 4:50 left in the frame.
Ohio State then got some contributions from guard Hevynne Bristow, who closed the third quarter by scoring the final eight points of the frame for the Buckeyes, who led 80-47 entering the fourth before being outscoring 16-13 by Minnesota in the final quarter.
McMahon led the Buckeyes with 25 points, followed closely by Mikesell with 24. Ohio State also saw Thierry (15 points, eight rebounds), Bristow (10 points) and forward Eboni Walker (12 points) finish in double digits, with Walker filling in after forward Rebeka Mikulášiková exited the game with a leg injury. The Gophers were led by guard Mara Braun’s 19 points.
Ohio State will stay home to take on No. 2 Indiana on Monday, with the game set to tip off at 7 p.m.