The 10th ranked Buckeyes traveled to Crisler Arean in Ann Arbor, Michigan Sunday to take on the 22nd ranked Wolverines. Whenever these two rivals play in any sports all stats and rankings are thrown out the window as they will always battle hard to the end no matter what. And Sunday’s game was no different as it took an extra stanza for the Buckeyes to pull out the big 78-71 victory.
Senior Kelsey Mitchell led the Buckeyes with a season-high 37 points, with 27 after the half and 9 in the overtime. In what was a very chippy back and forth game full of several lead changes between both teams, Down the stretch Mitchell hit a big layup to tie the game up at 64 and Michigan was unable to capitalize in the final seconds.
Ohio State’s Alexa Hart won the tip-off in overtime and Mitchell opened the overtime period with a deep three and then scored on a drive to give the Buckeyes a 69-65 lead. Sierra Calhoun also added a three to push the lead to 72-67 and the margin never got closer than five the rest of the extra frame.
Calhoun finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds and tied her season-best with 4 3-pointers. Linnae Harper led the Bulldogs with 8 rebounds to go along with 12 points. Asia Doss, the senior who played her HIgh School ball about 45 minutes from Ann Arbor at Detroit Country Day, scored 6 points and 3 assist to go along with her strong defensive play.
The Buckeyes defense came up big when it was needed most forcing several turnovers and keeping most of the Wolverines players off the scoring board. The Buckeyes limited one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league to just 4-of-15 for the game. Michigan’s Hallie Thome had 27 points and Katelyn Flaherty scored 22 but no other UM player finished in double-figures.
Kelsey Mitchell is now just two points shy of 3,000 for her career. Just 12 players in NCAA history have scored 3,000 career points and she will soon be joining such legends as Kelsey Plum and Chamique Holdsclaw.
With her two assists, Mitchell tied Brandi Hoskins for sixth place all-time in OSU history with 471 career assists.
This was the Buckeyes fourth-straight win over their rivals from up north and they lead series all time 54-11.
OSU is riding a season-high eight-game winning streak.
Ohio State will have the next week off before traveling to Bloomington, Ind., to take on Indiana on Saturday, Jan. 13. The game will start at Noon and will be televised on BTN. The Buckeyes downed Indiana 85-70 on Dec. 31 in Columbus.