INDIANAPOLIS – All coach Kevin McGuff had to do was look to his left along the Ohio State bench to see the potential disaster waiting for his team before a Big Ten women’s basketball tournament quarterfinal.
Senior guard Asia Doss, who had started 134 straight games, was sitting a few feet away with a walking boot on a sprained right ankle for precautionary reasons. She has been listed as day to day.
That forced McGuff to start senior forward Alexa Hart and narrowed his bench to Makayla Waterman and Jensen Caretti. Caretti, a sophomore guard, has played few important minutes.
Despite center Stephanie Mavunga and Waterman each being called for three fouls in the first half, the Buckeyes sprinted to an 82-57 victory over Rutgers on Friday to advance to the semifinals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Scarlet Knights (20-12) led for 14 seconds, when star guard Tyler Scaife made a 16-foot jumper for a 12-11 lead in the first quarter.
Kelsey Mitchell led the Buckeyes with 22 points on 7-for-17 shooting, including 3 of 6 from three-point range. She extended her NCAA record to 88 games for making at least one three-pointer.
Mavunga was next with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. She had six rebounds.
Hart, a senior from Africentric, was superb with 10 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes.
Ohio State (25-6), which is attempting to show the NCAA tournament committee that it deserves to host a regional for the first and second rounds, closed the second quarter by scoring the final nine points.
The run continued in the third quarter as Mavunga scored four baskets and Mitchell a three-pointer to make it 52-28 with 6:03 left.
The Buckeyes were 28 of 56 from the floor and 20 of 23 from the free throw line.