Buckeyes Get Win Over Wolverines on Senior Day
By Tony Gerdeman
Photo by Jim Davidson
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tayler Hill led the Buckeyes with 20 points in her last game on the Value City Arena Court, as Ohio State defeated Michigan 66-55 on Senior Day.
Teammates Raven Ferguson (13 points), Ashley Adams (12) and Ameryst Alston (12) also scored in double figures.
Head coach Jim Foster moved to 11-0 on Senior Day in his Buckeye career, sending Hill, Adams, Amber Stokes and Emilee Harmon out with yet another win over the Maize and Blue.
"They have dealt with some adversity – personal and relative to injuries – and hung tough," Foster said of his seniors.
"They learned it doesn’t always go well. You lose a game like the Minnesota game and some folks are going to use the ‘woe is me’ approach and I think this group did just the opposite of that. They came out and were resilient."
That resilience was on hand in this game as well. Even though the Buckeyes (17-12, 7-9) never trailed by more than two points, they also never led by more than nine, and were constantly tested by the Wolverines (20-9, 9-7).
Rachel Sheffer opened the scoring with a layup for Michigan. A few minutes later, Sheffer hit her second layup, giving the Wolverines a 6-5 lead, but would be Michigan's final lead of the ball game.
Tayler Hill's three-pointer made it 8-6 for Ohio State, and thus began the Buckeyes' game-long execution of keeping Michigan at arm's length.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Ohio State opened a 16-12 lead, bolstered by five quick points from Ameryst Alston, but the Wolverines answered with four quick points to tie the game for the first time since it was 2-2. It would also be the last time the Buckeyes didn't lead the game.
The Buckeyesr got a three-point play from Darryce Moore, followed 30 seconds later by a three-pointer from Raven Ferguson to give them their largest lead of the afternoon at 26-18.
A three-pointer by Sam Arnold and a pair of free throws by Nya Jordan cut the lead to three points with 2:03 to play. Ashley Adams then closed out the first half with a layup to secure a 30-25 halftime lead.
The Wolverines then went on an 8-2 run early in the second half to cut Ohio State's lead to one point. Alston and Arnold traded three-pointers to extend and then shrink the lead. Two minutes later, Hill sank a three-pointer and Ferguson added a layup to give the Buckeyes a six-point lead.
Arnold and Nya did their best to cut into the lead, but Ohio State just wouldn't let it happen. Back-to-back layups by Hill and Ferguson gave the Buckeyes a nine-point lead, and a layup by Adams with seven seconds to play gave Ohio State their largest lead as well as the final score.
The Buckeyes finished with 18 assists on their 25 baskets, sharing the ball very well and getting everyone involved.
"They played a lot of zone," Foster said of the Michigan defense.
"We were patient, took our time and didn’t force [shots]. That’s probably the best we’ve done. I like the balanced scoring. Folks are doing their jobs and taking care of business."
With the Big Ten Tournament up next for the Buckeyes, this win over the Wolverines couldn't have come at a better time.
"We needed the confidence-booster going into the Big Ten tournament, so this is great," Stokes admitted. "Everyone was moving the ball well and getting good looks. Overall everyone played really well today."
"We realized we have been struggling with different things for the games we have lost," Harmon added. "However, we know when we come together we can make things happen."
Ohio State will next take the court on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament.
· The Ohio State senior class of Emily Harmon, Tayler Hill, Brianna Sanders and Amber Stokes were recognized postgame. The group has combined for 97 wins during the past four years with a Big Ten regular season championship, two tournament championships and three NCAA tournament appearances, which included a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2011.
· The Buckeyes are 11-0 on Senior Day under head coach Jim Foster and the Buckeyes have won the last 13 home regular season finales overall.
· Ohio State leads the all-time series with Michigan, 49-9, including a 26-3 lead in Columbus. OSU has won 16 of the last 19 overall.
· Ohio State improves to 17-4 this season when holding opponents to 60 points or less.
· Hill, Raven Ferguson, Ashley Adams and Ameryst Alston scored in double figures, with Hill pacing the group with 20 points. Ferguson had 13 and shot 5-for-7, while Alston and Adams had 12 each on 5-for-6 and 6-for-9 shooting, respectively.
· Hill has scored in double-figures in 62 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the fourth longest in Division I.
· Hill, the Big Ten’s career active scoring leader, has 1,967 career points, good for fifth on OSU’s all-time scoring list. She is 33 points away from becoming the fifth Buckeye to score at least 2,000 points.
· Hill has played in 40+ minutes in 14 of her 15 Big Ten games, including a career-high 46 in the win over Wisconsin.
· Adams is 21-of-31 from the field in her last three games with 45 points, 18 rebounds, nine blocks and seven assists.
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