Kelsey Mitchell said Wednesday she strives to compete at the highest level. The Ohio State senior guard added she hates losing and that her goal is to “be the best me I can possibly be.”
She checked three boxes at Florida’s O’Connell Center on Wednesday. The No. 12 Buckeyes overwhelmed the Gators in the late third and early fourth quarters to cruise to a 103-77 victory and Mitchell needed a little more than seven minutes to break Ohio State’s all-time scoring record, passing Jantel Lavender’s mark of 2,818 career points.
Mitchell led all scorers with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting, bringing her career points total to 2,840. She is just 253 points shy of Rachel Banham’s Big Ten record of 3,093, but don’t expect Mitchell to focus on numbers in the coming weeks.
“This particular accolade is not something I’ve even been concerned about, but to be a part of the list and being in competition with others that have made great strides throughout the course of women’s basketball history, I’m very grateful,” Mitchell said of the school scoring record. "I’m very excited about the win, more importantly, tonight.”
Mitchell needed just 114 games to set the school record. Coach Kevin McGuff has been on the sideline to witness all of them.
“She’s an incredible worker, great kid and I’m just really happy to see her achieve all these milestones," McGuff said.
All five Ohio State starters scored in double figures. Sierra Calhoun scored 21 points and Linnae Harper, Stephanie Mavunga and Asia Doss scored 18, 16 and 14 points, respectively. Harper’s total lifted her over the 1,000-point mark for her college career.
Haley Lorenzen led the Gators (5-4) with 17 points.
The Buckeyes (9-2) don't play again until Dec. 15 against Dartmouth and take a few positives into a long stretch of practices. Ohio State shot 54 percent, committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 24 and scored 42 points off those turnovers.
The Buckeyes were sharp and energetic for much of the game but were two lapses shy of a complete performance. Florida had a 9-0 run in the second quarter and a 13-3 run that cut Ohio State’s lead to 60-54 with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
“I think we were closer to (a complete performance) today,” McGuff said. “But still, we’re not where we want to be from a consistency standpoint and that’s going to be the biggest point of emphasis moving forward.”
Keeping the energy up with a big lead is an area where the Buckeyes still need to improve, McGuff said. After 11 tightly packed games to start the season, they’ll have nine days to focus on growth.