East Lansing, MI: – The Ohio State women’s basketball team were able to withstand a big fourth quarter surge at Michigan State’s Breslin Center Thursday night and battle from a deficit with tenacity for a big 77-70 victory, their third in a row. The win saw the Buckeyes move ahead in the standings of the Spartans and also end their 13 home game winning strsak.
The Buckeyes won the opening tip and freshman Aaliyah Patty got the scoring started for the Buckeyes off a Dorka Juhasz pass. The Buckeyes took a decent lead but the Spartans would remain close then tie things up, and it was a huge back and forth battle as the first half saw 2 lead changes and 8 ties. The Buckeyes took a 35-32 lead into the half with freshman Janai Crooms leading the way with 13 points, two of them 3 pointers, and Patty with 13 points. The Spartans Sidney Cooks led her team with 11.
Crooms got the scoring started quickly in the second half but the Spartans would battle back and go into the fourth had a 52-50 lead with Nia Clouden doubling her total points in the first half and leading her team with 18 at that point.
Carly Santoro hit a big 3 from the right corner to give the Buckeyes a lead but the Spartans matched the Buckeyes basket for basket. With two minutes to go and the Buckeyes trailing, Carmen Grande hit a big 3 followed by another perfect long distance shot by Juhasz to give the Buckeyes the two-possession lead with a minute, 48 seconds to go, and they never relinquished it from there.
The Spartans had to resort to the quick foul in that point of the game but the Buckeyes, who had the bonus, hit their shots and left the Breslin Center with the hard-fought victory.
The Buckeyes had 5 players in double figures in scoring led by Crooms with 20, Grande with 17, Santoro with 15, Patty with 13, and Juhasz with 10. The duo of Crooms & Juhasz had 7 rebounds each to lead their team and Juhasz had two blocked shots. Grande led the team with 6 assists.
Grande, the mathematical science graduate from Madrid Spain who came to Head Coach Kevin McGuff’s team from Ball State, scored her 1,000
Leading the way for the Spartans were Clouden with 24 points, Shay Colley with 18, and Sidney Cooks with 12. Victoria Gaines led Head Coach Suzy Merchant’s Spartans with 11 rebounds.
Ohio State (9-7 conference, 13-2 overall) will return to action next Thursday when it travels to Madison, Wisconsin, for a rematch with the Badgers. The Buckeyes edged the Badgers 70-68 last Sunday in Columbus. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET and will be televised on BTN. The Buckeyes are in fifth place in the Big Ten and are fighting for more.