The dress rehearsals are over. Now, all sights are set on Stanford.
The No. 5 Ohio State women's basketball team dismantled Division II team Urbana 135-54 on Sunday at Value City Arena in the final tune-up before OSU plays host to the No. 10 Cardinal on Friday at St. John Arena.
“The coaches said that this was the hardest they’ve seen us play,” senior guard Asia Doss said. “We hustled, we made the extra pass, took the extra shot. We did the little things that I don’t think we’ve ever done.”
Five Buckeyes scored at least 20 points. Senior forward Stephanie Mavunga led the way with 27 points and 14 rebounds, followed by Kelsey Mitchell’s 25 points and 12 assists.
Linnae Harper also had a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds, along with a team-high six steals. Doss chipped in 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Sierra Calhoun added 20 points, going 4 of 6 from three-point range.
OSU pulled away with a 25-2 run over the last 5 minutes, 12 seconds of the first half and by shooting 71 percent in the second quarter.
The exhibition of prolific offense performance and improved defense boosted the Buckeyes' confidence entering Friday’s regular-season opener.
“I think we’re in a good place,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “We need a great week. I told the kids afterward, I think we’re better this week than we were last week and we need to be better on Friday than we were today.”
Alexa Hart (right ankle sprain) and Makayla Waterman (sore knee) returned to action on Sunday after missing last week’s exhibition game against Ashland.
Hart practiced lightly on Friday and Saturday. She recorded four points and six rebounds in 14 minutes. Waterman collected six points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.
“It was really good to be able to get them on the court and get the kinks out for those two (before Stanford),” McGuff said.
McGuff said Hart feels good, but the coaches will continue to ease her back into the rotation.
“Her conditioning is a little bit behind,” McGuff said, “so I don’t think we can play her for long stretches at a time.”
Sophomore guard Jensen Caretti sat out Sunday with an illness. McGuff said she’s expected to play against Stanford.
The Buckeyes received their Big Ten championship rings before the game. The had a 15-1 conference record last season and shared the title with Maryland.
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