Following its first loss of the season, a 74-68 defeat to Ohio, Ohio State came back and handedly defeated Kent State 75-65 for the team’s second road win of the season.
The Buckeyes were led by a perfect 7-of-7 shooting night from freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova, who finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
Mikulasikova stepped up for an injured Dorka Juhasz, Ohio State’s leading scorer and rebounder coming into the game, who missed the Kent matchup with a leg injury.
“I kind of wanted to get her in early, especially with Dorka being out,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “She had some great minutes and she played really well, and I think you can see what her talent level is.”
Ohio State led 8-5 early in the first quarter and then never trailed for the rest of the game, breaking it open with an 11-1 run to end the opening quarter that gave the Buckeyes a 19-9 lead.
This came partly from an absolute domination by Ohio State in bench points. While the Buckeyes scored 33 of their points from players off the bench, the Golden Flashes did not manage a single point from the bench until a Mariah Modkins three with 18 seconds to play.
“That’s one of the luxuries of this team,” McGuff said. “We have a lot of depth and can play a lot of people, so it was really good.”
Another Ohio State freshman in guard Jacy Sheldon stepped up from a shaky shooting performance against Ohio, hitting all three of her three-point attempts for 11 points on the night.
Janai Crooms earned her second double double of both the season and her collegiate career, finishing 11 points and a career high 11 rebounds, as well as seven assists.
Oklahoma State transfer guard Braxtin Miller also had another strong game, making 6 of 10 from the field for 14 points to go with six rebounds and four assists.
Ohio State outrebounded Kent State 43-30 while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. The Golden Flashes shot 30.8 percent on the night.
“We are at our best when we’re moving,” McGuff said. “We had 22 assists, so I really liked the way we moved the ball and made the extra pass.”
Kent’s leading scorer coming into the game, Asia Dingle, was held without a field goal in the game, shooting 0 for 5 and ending the game with three points. Katie Shumate, the Golden Flashes’ No. 2 scorer, shot 1 for 15 in the game for five points.
Kent State instead relied on Lindsey Thall, who buried 8 of 13 attempts from deep for a career high 32 points, scoring nearly half of the Golden Flashes’ points on the evening.
The Buckeyes led by as much as 25 points, but Thall’s 19-point fourth quarter helped cut the lead to the eventual 10-point win.
“I thought we played well for three quarters, I thought on both ends of the floor we did pretty good and then the fourth quarter was really bad,” McGuff said. “I think it’s just the sign of a young and immature team that they got out of what we were doing and got away from the processes of what we were doing, and they made us pay for it.”
Ohio State moves on to play a home game against No. 4 UConn at 3 p.m. Sunday.
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