No. 12 Ohio State (9-1, 1-0 Big Ten) extended its winning streak to nine games on Friday with a 73-49 win at home over visiting Grand Valley State (7-1).
The Buckeyes limited the Lakers to just 40.0 percent shooting from the field and 26.7 percent from deep, and forced 32 turnovers that resulted in 34 points for Ohio State.
Despite Value City Arena celebrating “Superhero Night,” the Buckeyes looking anything but super in the early stages of the game against Division II Grand Valley State. Ohio State never trailed in the first frame but, after opening with a 6-1 lead, saw the Lakers cut the deficit to just 8-7 with 4:40 left in the quarter.
Following a timeout by Grand Valley State, the Buckeyes responded with an 11-0 run – featuring the first points of the season by redshirt senior Madison Greene on a pair of free throws, who returned against Penn State after missing most of last season with a knee injury – to take a 19-7 lead with 3:27 left in the quarter. The Lakers had two baskets in the final 2:05 of the frame, but after fifth-year guard Celeste Taylor hit three free throws, Ohio State entered the second quarter with a 24-11 lead.
The Buckeyes continued to exert their will into the second quarter, holding Grand Valley State to just eight points – all from guard Ellie Droste – on 3-of-12 shooting and taking a 43-19 lead into the break behind 11 points from guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Thierry. Sophomore forward Cotie McMahon had five first-half rebounds.
The Lakers found a rhythm from the floor to begin the third quarter, connecting on three of their first four shots, but the Buckeyes were able to maintain a 53-26 lead with 4:50 left in the frame. Ohio State worked the lead to 57-28 before eventually taking a 61-32 lead into the fourth behind a late basket from Greene.
The Lakers took control of the final frame, however, outscoring the Buckeyes 17-12 as they shot 45.5 percent from the field, compared to just 25.0 percent shooting for Ohio State in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State was led in the win by Sheldon, who had 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting – her best-ever shooting percentage in a game at 87.5 percent – while Thierry also reached double digits with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, and McMahon added six points and a game-high seven rebounds. The Lakers were led by Droste, who had 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and was 2 of 5 from deep.
Ohio State will take the floor at home on Monday in a highly-anticipated matchup with undefeated No. 2 UCLA, set for a national broadcast on FS1 at 6:30 p.m.