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No. 20 Ohio State Opens Up 2024 With Big 90-60 Win At Northwestern

By January 5, 2024 (9:41 pm)Basketball

No. 20 Ohio State (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten) cruised to a 90-60 win at Northwestern (6-9, 1-3) on Friday to open up the calendar year in the victory column.

The Buckeyes saw six players finish in double digits – led by 18 points from fifth-year guard Jacy Sheldon – while Ohio State came together on the defensive end, forcing 28 turnovers by the Wildcats that turned into 37 points for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State got off to a fast start, opening with an 8-0 lead with 6:08 left in the first quarter. But Northwestern responded by getting hot from deep, making the next four shots from beyond the arc to close the gap and eventually taking a 16-15 lead with 2:47 left in the frame after a layup from forward Caileigh Walsh.

Celeste Taylor hit back, converting an and-one opportunity to put the Buckeyes back up, and they were able to maintain a 20-19 lead heading into the second.

While the Wildcats showed some fight early, Ohio State began to take over the in second quarter. The Buckeyes forced six turnovers in the first five minutes of the frame as they increased their lead to 34-25 behind six points from junior guard Taylor Thierry over the span of 2:25.

Northwestern continuing struggling to hold onto the ball, committing six more turnovers during the rest of the half and going without any points over the last 3:57 of the quarter as the Buckeyes took a 42-28 lead into the break.

A quick pair of baskets out of the break and later three-pointer – one of eight for the game – cut the deficit to 45-35 for the Wildcats with 7:17 left in the quarter, but it was the closest they would get for the rest of the contest. Ohio State responded with an 11-2 run to go up 56-37 before taking a 62-41 lead into the fourth.

Ohio State did not take its foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, either, outscoring the Wildcats 28-19 in the fourth quarter for the final behind eight points from freshman guard Dianna Collins, and 68.8 percent shooting for the quarter.

Beyond Sheldon’s 18 points, the Buckeyes also saw fifth-year guard Celeste Taylor (15 points), fifth-year forward Eboni Walker (11 points) and sophomore forward Cotie McMahon, Thierry and Collins (10 points) all finish in double digits, while Walker had a team-high six rebounds. Walsh led the Wildcats with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

The Buckeyes will return to the floor on Thursday, set to host Rutgers for a 6 p.m. tipoff. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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