In its third matchup against a top 10 team this season, Ohio State could not find the same magic that it did in its stunning upset against Louisville, losing to No. 1 Stanford 71-52.
The defeat ended a three-game win streak for the Buckeyes.
“They executed at an incredibly high level, offensively and defensively and we just didn’t match that execution,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “We had too many breakdowns defensively and too many turnovers on our own end.”
Turnovers were a problem for both teams in the game, with Ohio State committing 24 compared to Stanford’s 21. Sophomore guard Janai Crooms committed seven of the Buckeye turnovers, while Stanford guard Lexie Hull finished with seven steals, all of which came in the first half.
The Cardinal turned those turnovers into 28 points compared to Ohio State’s 23 points off turnovers.
“I think that when we got down early, we just tried to create plays in the first five to 10 seconds of the shot clock and Stanford is just too good defensively to do that and we just ended up turning the ball over,” McGuff said. “It was just kind of an epidemic for us tonight.”
Though Crooms struggled with holding onto the ball, she was a primary scorer for the Buckeyes on the evening, finishing with a team-high 15 and six rebounds while hitting seven of her 10 shots.
A Crooms runner at the end of the third quarter kept Ohio State close to striking distance, putting the score at 56-42 heading into the fourth. But Stanford kept the Scarlet and Gray contained in the final 10 minutes, allowing only 10 points and outscoring Ohio State 15-10.
As a team, the Buckeyes shot 38.6 percent from the field, but with that, returned struggles at the free throw line, where they only hit four of their nine attempts. Stanford, on the other hand, shot exactly 50 percent (30 of 60) from the field for the evening.
The Cardinal began to pull away from Ohio State with an 11-0 run that started at the end of the first quarter and continued into the second. Stanford outscored the Buckeyes 20-10 in the second quarter, which gave the Cardinal a 37-23 lead at the half.
Freshman guard Kierstan Bell had a night to forget for Ohio State, finishing with zero points, missing all eight shot attempts and turning the ball over four times.
“She had some shots and she just couldn’t get anything to fall,” McGuff said. “We need her, we need her on offense, we need her to score the ball, and it just didn’t happen tonight.”
Hull, Haley Jones and Francesca Belibi and Kiana Williams were the major scorers for Stanford, all of which ended the night in double figures and combined for 54 points.
Ohio State stays on the west coast for a Tuesday night matchup against Sacramento State.
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