Red Hot Shooting Propels Ohio State to Win Over Lady Lions at Big Ten Tournament
The Ohio State Buckeyes came into the Big Ten post season tournament averaging 65 points per game. They had been struggling and were a No. 8 seed at the tournament.
The Lady Lions had just beaten Michigan in their season finale giving Penn State its third straight Big Ten regular season title and the No. 1 seed at the tournament. Things were looking good for the Lady Lions in Indianapolis -- at least until the game began.
The Buckeyes outplayed the Lady Lions right from the start and cruised into a semi final spot with a 99-82 win over Penn State.
Defense was once again the Achilles heal for Coquese Washington's team. Ohio State shot 72% from the field including a blistering 71% from 3-point land to build a 58-34 halftime advantage. It was a difference the Lady Lions could not overcome even though the Buckeyes did not make a trey in the second half.
Penn State made some adjustments at the break, but OSU did as well and used a drive and dish offense that spread Penn State out. That allowed the Buckeye guards to drive and find the open players in the paint. Ameryst Allston led all scorers with 33 points. Four Buckeyes were in double figures.
Ariel Edwards topped Penn State's scoring chart with 29 -- a new career high. Maggie Lucas had 21 and Dara Taylor chipped in with 14.
Lucas made a pair of shots from beyond the arc to become the Big Ten's and Penn State's career leader for three-pointers. Lucas now has a career total of 358 triples which breaks Kelly Mazzante's record of 357.
The Lady Lions see their season record fall to 22-7 and they now play the waiting game until the NCAA selection show on March 17th. The big question is how much this loss will hurt the Lady Lions' seeding in the tournament.
Some experts had Penn State as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, but that could now change dramatically. The Lady Lions will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at the Jordan Center on March 23rd and 25th.