For more than a month, the Ohio State women’s basketball team has spent its practice time during the week preparing for at least two, and sometimes three, Big Ten opponents.

In the midst of an eight-day span without a game, OSU’s longest of the season, that focus shifted inward.

Before the No. 13 Buckeyes (21-5, 11-1 Big Ten) started their preparation for a home game today against Iowa (15-9, 6-5), they kept their training general, zeroing in on fitness, basic offensive and defensive schemes and team building.

“I think we’re in the midst of a great week so far,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “We’ve worked on getting up and down the floor a little bit more, making sure our conditioning stays where it needs to be and even maybe improves a little bit for the home stretch. We just worked on general stuff on offense and defense, just trying to improve as a team.”

Freshman guard Kiara Lewis said the general preparation was a welcome change and allowed players the opportunity to meet individually with McGuff.

“I thought those really helped, just keeping our focus for these last couple weeks of the season. I thought they were very productive,” she said.

Junior guard Linnae Harper said the constant grind of games — particularly a recent stretch in which the Buckeyes have won seven straight — makes it difficult to take a step back and think about what needs to improve. It is why, she said, she has found Ohio State’s bye week valuable.

Reflecting on how a team that is 16-2 in its past 18 games can get better, Harper suggested mental toughness.

“As the season winds down, we can get tired or our bodies might be sore, but (McGuff) has made a big emphasis on like, ‘This is the time where championship teams are made, trying to grind through and push through adversity,’ ” Harper said. “It’s something that he’s told us since we’ve been here.”

It’s something he will likely reiterate in the coming days, with the Buckeyes having recently been dealt their biggest injury blow of the season. Junior forward Stephanie Mavunga injured her right foot in practice Thursday and will be out for the foreseeable future.

Listing possible improvements for the Buckeyes, McGuff noted the team’s rebounding, which has ranked in the top 10 nationally throughout the season, has been “a little spotty” of late.

That assessment came hours before Mavunga's injury timetable came to light. Minus their double-digit rebounder, the Buckeyes now look inward to try to fill a void on the glass.

“I really believe the best teams that play their best at the end of the year are teams that continue to improve throughout the year,” McGuff said. “I want to make sure we’re one of those teams, so you really have to focus on yourself to be better.”