No. 9 Ohio State women top No. 24 Michigan St 85-80
Dec. 31, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The high scoring of Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston might not have been enough for No. 9 Ohio State to beat No. 24 Michigan State without the final two plays by less heralded teammates.
Asia Doss scored the go-ahead basket for Ohio State (9-3) on a put-back with 36 seconds left, and Cait Craft made that stand up when she drew a charge on the next possession for an 85-80 win Thursday over No. 24 Michigan State in their Big Ten opener.
Michigan State guard Branndais Agee's offensive foul gave the ball back to the Buckeyes and Mitchell, who was fouled, made two free throws with 16 seconds left.
After Aerial Powers' 3-point attempt for Michigan State went off the rim and out of bounds with 4 seconds left, Mitchell made two more free throws to put the game away.
Mitchell led all scorers with 25 points, going 13 for 13 from the free-throw line but 0 for 10 from the 3-point line. She was especially pleased with the effort of Doss and Craft.
"The small things matter," Mitchell said. "That charge and that put-back, I mean buckling down and playing defense, that's all important."
Alston finished with 23 points and Shayla Cooper had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Ohio State. Doss finished with 10 points.
Powers led Michigan State (9-3) with 23 points. Jasmine Hines added 18 and Tori Jankoska and Agee each scored 15.
Jankoska, Hines, Agee and Akyah Taylor all fouled out, which didn't please MSU coach Suzy Merchant.
"I felt like there were some key calls down the stretch that really hurt our team," Merchant said. "We had four kids foul out of the game. I don't think I've ever had that happen. We had a lot of kids on the bench in the first half. It just was hard to get a feel in the game for the consistency of what a hand check was.
"I know I'm not supposed to talk about officials — I understand that — but I just felt like there was a lot going on out there that kind of felt like there was some inconsistency."
Ohio State led by as many as 11 in the first half and held a 42-36 advantage at the break.
Michigan State used an 11-4 run midway through the third quarter to go ahead 47-46.
The Spartans stretched that advantage to as many as six, but the Buckeyes trimmed it to 58-56 heading into the fourth.
Michigan State: The Spartans had a five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 0-2 on the season against ranked teams. They lost 84-76 to No. 5 Baylor on Nov. 28.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes won their fifth straight game.
QUOTE OF NIGHT
"We didn't have our best night shooting, but we found other ways to win the game and made a lot of intangible plays down the stretch that kind of made the difference," said Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff.
Mitchell's 13 straight from the free-throw line was one less than the Ohio State record for consecutive makes in a game, which she shares with Tayler Hill.
Michigan State: Hosts Wisconsin on Sunday.
Ohio State: Visits No. 6 Maryland on Saturday.