The good times keep in rolling in Columbus, as No. 2 Ohio State took down visiting Northwestern in a 84-54 win on Thursday to remain undefeated on the season.
The Buckeyes (19-0, 8-0 Big Ten) dispatched the Wildcats (6-12, 0-8) with ease, holding Northwestern to just 32.7 percent shooting from the field and forcing 19 turnovers, resulting in 25 points.
Forward Rebeka Mikulášikova opening up the scoring with a three-pointer – quickly becoming a trademark of hers – and added another a couple of possessions later to put Ohio State up 6-2. Northwestern fought back to make it 9-8 in favor of the Buckeyes, but Ohio State responded with a 10-1 run to close the quarter, leading 19-9 at the end of the first frame.
Ohio State held Northwestern without a made basket for the final 4:34 of the first quarter, and that stretch continued until there was just 4:12 remaining in the first half. By the time the Wildcats – which did made an impact at the free-throw line, finishing the first half 8 of 13 from the charity stripe – finally made a field goal, the Buckeyes had expanded their lead to 27-17.
Guard Taylor Mikesell scored five of the next seven points for Ohio State, and a pair of free throws from freshman forward Cotie McMahon pushed the Buckeyes’ lead to 38-24 entering the locker room.
Ohio State opened the half on a yet another big run, this time taking off on a 10-2 stretch, to lead 48-26 with just 2:43 gone by in the third. Northwestern had little in the way of a response, scoring just eight points over the next 5:35 as the Buckeyes’ lead increased to a game-high 27 points, holding a 61-34 lead with 1:53 left in the quarter.
The Buckeyes ended the third up 65-41, holding the Wildcats to just 29.4 percent shooting from the field during the quarter. Conversely, Ohio State connected on 61.5 percent of its shots as seven players scored during the frame.
Ohio State got several players involved in the action of the final frame, with 11 players seeing the floor and five getting a scoring opportunity. The Buckeyes outscored the Wildcats 19-15 in the fourth for the 84-54 final.
Mikesell and Mikulášikova each finished with 18 points, with Mikesell doing so on 7-of-16 shooting and Mikulášikova hitting at a 6 of 9 clip to go with seven rebounds. Guard Rikki Harris added six rebounds, while Northwestern forward Paige Mott led her team with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
The Buckeyes will stay home for their next contest, welcoming No. 10 Iowa and guard Caitlin Clark into Value City Arena on Monday with tip set for 7 p.m.