No. 17 Ohio State (12-3, 3-1) used a dominant defensive performance to cruise to an 90-55 victory over Rutgers (6-12, 0-4) on Thursday night at Value City Arena, giving them their third conference win of the season.
Ohio State’s vaunted pressure defense was effective early and often, forcing 28 Scarlet Knight turnovers — 19 of those in the first half — that led to 36 points, while also limiting the Scarlet Knights to 37.0 percent shooting from the field (17 of 46) and just 2-of-8 shooting from three. The Buckeyes also had a strong night on offense, with 10 players recording a point and four reaching double figures on the night.
The Buckeyes’ dominance on both ends started from the onset, where they connected on four of their first five shots and benefited from three Scarlet Knight turnovers to take an early 10-2 lead. Rutgers stayed in the game through the middle portion of the quarter, cutting the deficit to just 17-10 with 4:14 left, but a triple from Madison Greene on the ensuing possession helped the Buckeyes go up by double digits and jumpstart a new run.
They scored seven of the last 10 points of the quarter — including another made three from Greene — to extend their lead to 27-13 after the first frame.
After Rutgers forward Destiny Adams scored the first basket of the second period — giving her nine early points in the game — Ohio State began its onslaught of its inferior Big Ten opponent. They embarked on an extended 10-0 run in 3:08 — aided by four straight Scarlet Knight misses and two more turnovers — to go up 37-15 with 6:21 left in the half.
Greene hit on her third triple of the half with 4:39 left to put the Buckeyes up 41-17 and further ignite the team as they closed the half. Ohio State scored 10 of the last 15 points of the period — capped by a three from freshman forward Diana Collins at the buzzer— to lead 51-22 at half.
Rutgers opened up the second half strong, making three of its first four shots and holding Ohio State to no makes in its first five attempts to cut the deficit to 53-28. That was the closest the Scarlet Knights got all game, though. After three made free throws from Cotie McMahon and Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State went on another long run, scoring nine of the game’s next 11 points — with five points from Celeste Taylor — to lead 65-30 with 4:20 left.
Rutgers scored its first field goal in over four minutes out of the media timeout, but it was immediately answered by a three from Emma Shumate. Greene later connected on her fourth triple of the game, allowing the Buckeyes to hold a resounding 74-41 lead after three quarters.
Ohio State outscored Rutgers 16-14 in the final period to push the final score to 90-55, but it was merely window dressing as the two teams emptied the benches for the entirety of the period. The Buckeyes gained six points from graduate Taiyier Parks in the final period.
The Buckeyes were led in the blowout win by Greene, who scored a season-high 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting, with all of her makes coming from beyond the arc. McMahon (11), Sheldon (11) and Taylor (12) also reached double figures, while Taylor Thierry led in rebounds with five. Rutgers was led by Adams, who scored a game-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and an assist.
Ohio State will be back in action on Sunday when they welcome Michigan State to Value City Arena, with tip off set for 4 p.m.