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No. 8 Ohio State Utilizes Big Third Quarter In 87-49 Win Over Wisconsin

By February 1, 2024 (7:45 pm)Basketball

No. 8 Ohio State (18-3, 9-1 Big Ten) took advantage of a dominant third quarter in a 87-49 win over Wisconsin (10-10, 3-7) on Thursday, extending the team’s winning streak to eight games.

After leading just 31-26 at the half, Ohio State outscored Wisconsin 39-11 in the third quarter, tying the most points in a single frame in program history. The Buckeyes also forced 27 turnovers in the win that resulted in 36 points.

Both teams came to play early, trading three-pointers to begin the contest as Ohio State eventually worked to an 11-9 lead with 4:55 left in the first. Wisconsin forward Sareh Williams, the Badgers’ leading scorer and rebounder this season at 17.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, then gave Wisconsin the lead with an and-one.

Ohio State guard Jacy Sheldon took the lead back with 2:57 left with a layup off a turnover by the Badgers, but it was the last basket by the Buckeyes until a jumper from fifth-year forward Rebeka Mikulášiková with just four seconds left in the frame. Her score was preceded by a triple from the Badgers, giving Wisconsin a 16-15 lead.

Offense was hard to come by in the second quarter, as the teams combined to miss their first seven attempts from the field. Sophomore forward Cotie McMahon then finally broke through after getting to the free-throw line, going 1 of 2 to tie it at 16 with 7:40 left in the frame, but the Badgers responded with a triple to retake the lead.

But after a slow shooting start to the frame, Ohio State responded with a 9-2 run – a stretch during which it knocked down both shot attempts and went 5 of 5 at the line – to take a 25-21 lead with 4:45 left in the frame. The Buckeyes were then held without a basket for 2:50 – though fifth-year forward Eboni Walker did knock down a pair at the line – until McMahon broke through with a layup to go up 29-24 with 1:55 left.

Walker turned the ball over with a minute remaining, but she bounced back on the next possession to hit a jumper to send Ohio State to the break with a 31-26 lead. McMahon led the Buckeyes at halftime with 10 points – and had the only make of the half from deep on eight team attempts – while Williams had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Junior guard Taylor Thierry – who had no points in the first half – started the third quarter off strong, scoring five straight points out of the break. That was followed by a layup from McMahon that extended Ohio State’s run to 7-0 and a 38-26 lead, resulting in a timeout by Wisconsin.

Williams scored out of the break, but Ohio State responded with 12-0 run that featured triples from fifth-year guard Celeste Taylor and Sheldon, as well as four turnovers by Wisconsin, to give the Buckeyes a 50-28 lead with 6:04 left in the quarter. McMahon then converted an and-one that started another big run for Ohio State, which utilized a 17-4 stretch to go up 67-35 with 1:31 left. Sophomore guard Emma Shumate then hit a triple with 11 seconds left to take a 70-37 lead into the fourth.

The third frame tied the most points ever in a quarter for Ohio State, which outscored Wisconsin 39-11. The Buckeyes shot 66.7 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three, and had 13 assists in the quarter while forcing 12 turnovers. Ohio State mostly cleared out the benches in the fourth quarter, which saw fifth-year guard Madison Greene, Shumate, Walker and sophomore guard Kaia Henderson all get on the board as the Buckeyes outscored the Badgers 17-12.

Sheldon led the Buckeyes with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and had five assists, while McMahon had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Taylor also reached double digits with 10 points, while Williams led the Badgers with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Ohio State will return to the floor on Sunday for a top-10 matchup with No. 10 Indiana, set to tip off at noon on FS1.

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