Jeremy Birmingham/Landof10
Ohio State second-year RB Demario McCall is part of a loaded backfield for 2017.

Kevin McGuff’s Ohio State women’s basketball team notches huge win, Buckeyes football team doing some work and more

Jeremy Birmingham

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know — Monday through Friday — around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.


Kelsey Mitchell, Buckeyes knock off No. 2 Maryland

We fully believe in equal time for all standout Ohio State athletic programs here at Land of 10 and, because of that, we’re kicking off the morning with the No. 12 Buckeyes women’s basketball team.

Kevin McGuff’s Buckeyes, 23-5 overall and 13-1 in Big Ten play entering Monday night, played host to the No. 2-ranked Maryland Terrapins, who came into the Schottenstein Center at 26-1 overall and 14-0 in conference.

The game ended with both teams at 14-1 in the Big Ten, thanks to a monster performance by Ohio State junior All-American Kelsey Mitchell. Ohio State joined UConn as the only teams to knock off Maryland this season, beating the Terps 98-87.

It certainly wasn’t just Mitchell lighting up the scoreboard for the Buckeyes, either. Ohio State scored 35 first-quarter points and shot 56 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in the game. The Buckeyes were short-handed, too, playing without junior forward Stephanie Mavunga, their second-leading scorer and leading rebounder. In her stead, Ohio State’s lone senior, Shayla Cooper, had 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. More than a few Ohio State football players were in attendance, too.

A Terrapins win would have sealed the Big Ten’s regular-season title. Instead, if the Buckeyes can topple Rutgers (6-21, 3-11) in Piscataway, N.J., on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2), they’ll head into the league’s postseason tournament as the top seed.

 Buckeyes football!

I didn’t spot any of the Ohio State running backs in that photo at the women’s basketball game, but that may be because they were working hard on Monday morning.

That is #ToteNation, Tony Alford’s answer to wide receiver coach Zach Smith’s “Zone Six,” and those are four very good running backs getting themselves ready for spring football in Columbus.

While Mike Weber is going to be the man leading the charge, you can’t help but get a wee bit excited when you consider the possibility of an attack that deploys Weber complemented by Demario McCall, or Antonio Williams getting a breath while freshman phenom J.K. Dobbins takes his reps.

There is a serious overload of talent on the Buckeyes roster now, and it’s going to be wild to see how Urban Meyer and his staff shake things out.

We hardly knew you … but we’ll miss you so

When you think back on the 2016 Ohio State football season, there’s a good chance you’ll remember the emergence of two defensive backs — Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore — as one of the most interesting storylines of the season. I know that’s the case for me.

Anyway, those guys are going to play in the NFL next season and make a lot of money hitting wide receivers. In a week, they will be among a couple hundred NFL hopefuls at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the league’s draft combine. With that in mind, the Buckeyes social media mavens have taken the time to commemorate each departing player who will participate in the combine next week. Once per day, Ohio State will feature a departed star.

The tribute Monday was for Hooker, who had the single-best season I’ve seen from a Buckeyes safety.

The first interception of the season, against Bowling Green? It’s a highlight clip to watch over and over again.

If you’ve not seen this play, watch it again. James Knapke, Bowling Green’s quarterback, had to feel pretty good when the ball left his hand, too.

B1G Happenings

• Let’s talk Big Ten baseball and possible NCAA tourney teams!

• Nebraska is about to commit to recruiting

• Wisconsin picks up three 2018 commitments on Monday

• J.T. Barrett drops in way-too-early and completely meaningless Heisman odds

• For some reason, James Franklin and his coaching staff decided to wear wrestling singlets to work

• How Traverse City, Mich., is becoming a football-talent hotbed

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