Buckeyes Spread the Wealth in Win Over Hapless Southern
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State (8-3) got scoring from 10 different players, each of whom played at least 12 minutes, as the Buckeyes came away with a 73-50 win over Southern (1-10) Friday night.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Tayler Hill and Amber Stokes led the way, scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively. They were the only two Buckeyes who scored in double figures, but six players scored at least six points.
Hill, who has struggled from the perimeter of late, opened the game with a pair of three-pointers, the first of which gave Ohio State a lead which they would not relinquish.
The Buckeyes opened the game on a 10-2 run, but Southern fought their way back to make it 12-11 thanks to timely shooting from Adrian Sanders and Kendra Coleman.
Ohio State responded with a pair of quick baskets by Martina Ellerbe and Ashley Adams. Ellerbe scored six points off the bench for the Buckeyes, and Adams finished the game with nine points, six rebounds, three assists and four blocks.
Following a basket by Sanders to make it 16-15 the Buckeyes went on a 9-0 run capped by a three-point play from Raven Ferguson and a three-point field goal from Maleeka Kynard to make it 25-15. Ferguson scored nine points in just 14 minutes, adding four rebounds and three assists in the process.
Photo by Jim Davidson
"The difference between Raven [Ferguson] as a freshman than as a sophomore is significant," Buckeye coach Jim Foster said.
"[Maleeka] Kynard is a better player as a sophomore. We have some players coming off the bench that have experience as starters and that makes you a better team."
Yasmin Fuller hit a three-point shot to stop Ohio State's run, but the Buckeyes scored the next 13 points, stretching their lead to 38-18.
The Buckeyes led by 16 points at the half. They started the second half slowly but eventually built their lead up to 27 points, thanks in part to a pair of free throws and a layup by Hill to make it 60-33 with 10:52 remaining. Hill was just 4-11 from the field and missed her last five three-point attempts.
Ohio State's lead would fluctuate from that point on, but it never dropped below 21 points.
"The focus tonight was to do what we needed to do and finish our business," Stokes said.
"We get to go home afterwards. Everybody in general played well. The ball was moving. Everyone was getting good shots. Raven [Ferguson] was getting some good looks. Ashley [Adams] was making good passes. Our bench play was great as well. We played pretty well together tonight."
The Buckeyes, who were playing without post players Darryce Moore and Emilee Harmon due to injury, played 11 players, with Shelbi Honeycutt the lone Ohio State player not to score.
"We're getting more productivity out of the four spot," Foster said, referencing starter Aleksandra Dobranic scoring a career high eight points in each of her last two games.
"We didn't have Darryce [Moore] tonight and that takes away productivity in the five spot. We're going to get points from our guards. They're long and athletic. We probably took two or three more 3's than we should have tonight when we could have penetrated the ball more."
For the game, the Buckeyes shot 24-49 (49%) from the field, but just 4-16 (25%) from three-point territory. They held Southern to just 32.3% from the field on 21-65 shooting.
The Ohio State bench outscored the Southern bench 25-11.
"This year's bench is better than last year's bench," Ferguson said.
"We were really young last year. Now, we have a year under our belts. We have matured. The Washington State game is where we changed. We're focused now and we're enthusiastic. That game [Washington State] woke us up."
Up next for the Buckeyes is a home game against VCU on Thursday December 27 at 7:00 pm.
• Ohio State improves to 3-0 vs. Southern. In addition to the win Friday night, the Buckeyes defeated the Jaguars, 83-49, in Value City Arena a season ago. In the first meeting Nov. 19, 2007, Ohio State beat Southern, 79-38.
• The Buckeyes have won a school-record 29-consecutive home games, a streak that dates back to the 2010-11 season. It is the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the third-longest in the nation behind Stanford (82) and Baylor (45). Ohio State's last loss at home was Feb. 6, 2011 to Northwestern.
• Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Ohio State is 74-3 when scoring at least 70 points. They are 7-0 this year when scoring at least 70.
• Ohio State has hit at least one 3-pointer in 130 consecutive games.
• The Buckeye defense held Southern to 32.3 percent shooting. No opponent has shot 50 percent or better from the field this season against Ohio State's defense. The highest an opponent has shot is 45.5 percent by Gonzaga Dec. 17 in Spokane.
• Senior Tayler Hill has scored in double figures in 45 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten.
• Redshirt junior Sasha Dobranic tied her career best with eight points.
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