COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the Ohio State women’s basketball team, there were signs of progress. However, there also remains work to do.
No. 4 South Carolina used an impressive second-quarter run to take the lead and never looked back. The visitors ultimately came away with a 92-80 win against the No. 7 Buckeyes at Value City Arena.
It was yet another disappointing close call against an elite team for Ohio State (1-1). Last year, the Buckeyes fell short at South Carolina and Notre Dame, both of which were coming off Final Four appearances. Ohio State beat Maryland twice last season but still came up short in the conference title race.
South Carolina (1-0) failed to contain Ohio State star Kelsey Mitchell, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, the Gamecocks did well enough in other areas to overcome her performance.
Why It Happened
South Carolina dominated down low. Six-foot-2 Gamecocks guard Kaela Davis finished with 37 points and 10 rebounds. Alaina Coates, the 6-4 center, registered 10 points and 13 rebounds. Those performances helped contribute to a 44-30 advantage in points in the paint for the visitors. South Carolina also outrebounded Ohio State 48-36.
What It Means
Despite a somewhat misleading final score, Ohio State showed it can compete with the best teams in the country. However, the Buckeyes need to start winning these games. Like the aforementioned games last season, they couldn’t come up with a big non-conference win. There’s no reason Ohio State can’t improve going forward — especially as the transfers and freshmen continue to grow. However, these games carry NCAA seeding implications and the Buckeyes aren’t winning them.
As usual, it was the Kelsey Mitchell Show for Ohio State. The junior guard pulled her weight with 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting. She also pitched in three rebounds and four assists.
OSU guards Sierra Calhoun and Asia Doss combined to shoot 7 of 23 from the field. Mitchell needs better support from her backcourt teammates in games like this.
FINAL: No. 4 South Carolina 92, No. 7 Ohio State 80 pic.twitter.com/UEtQCXzPhW
— Ryan Ginn (@rmginn) November 15, 2016
The Buckeyes face Cleveland State at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed online through BTN Plus.