If there is an overarching theme to the Ohio State women’s basketball season, it has to do with five seniors who have known as much disappointment as success, and who understand that their time to find their mojo as a team is growing short.

They are a talented bunch, these five seniors. Point guard Kelsey Mitchell, who will finish her career as one of the two or three greatest scorers in the history of the women’s college game, is their motor. And big forward Stephanie Mavunga is probably their heart and soul. She is integral to their theme.

Consider: Three years ago, when Mavunga was a sophomore playing for North Carolina, she hung 27 points and 14 rebounds on Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Carolina won on a last-second shot.

Mavunga transferred to Ohio State, sat out a year and then suffered a ruptured plantar fascia, a wicked foot injury. It cost her the latter half of her junior season, and she played just a few token minutes against Notre Dame when the Buckeyes were throttled out of the tournament last year.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes were back, this time as hosts at St. John Arena on the first weekend of the NCAAs. They faced a plucky George Washington team and its plucky coach, Jennifer Rizzotti (go ahead and Google that girl, she’s a flat-out winner). The Colonials had no answer for Mavunga.

“Relentless effort,” Mavunga said. “We have five seniors who make up half our team. We all are capable of something. None of us has gone past the Sweet 16, as a team, together. We can’t take anything for granted.”

Mavunga had six points, four rebounds and two blocked shots by the first TV timeout. She finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in 26 minutes. The Buckeyes rolled to an 87-45 victory.

If opponents are going to try matchup zone defenses aimed at limiting Mitchell, they will pay — if the Buckeyes are sharing the ball and defending. Of late, the Buckeyes have been sharing the ball and defending.

It is clear they also know as well as anyone where the grand stage of the Final Four is to be set: at Nationwide Arena, beginning March 30. Just a couple weeks away, right down the street.

“You never know when something is going to be taken away from you,” Mavunga said.

The Mavunga family can sit comfortably right next to the Basketball Joneses. Stephanie’s brother, Julian, played high school ball with pal Gordon Hayward, went on to score 1,300 points at Miami University and plays professionally in Japan. His wife, Jeanette Pohlen-Mavunga, plays for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. Summer months are filled with vicious pickup games interspersed with serious clinic work.

Julian had a game in Japan on Saturday night and surely stayed up crazy late to watch a stream of the Ohio State-George Washington game. He’ll be texting his sister with an electronic pat on the back. She’s sure of it.

“What I love about my brother is he supports me no matter what time it is,” Mavunga said with a laugh. “He tells me how proud he is of me, and to hear that affirmation is a blessing because he is someone I look up to. He’s had quite a journey as a player.

“He tells me to take nothing for granted. Never have that mentality where you think you could’ve done this or should have done that. Don’t look back. Leave everything you have out there, because you never know when it’s going to be the last time. It’s here today and gone tomorrow.”

She snapped her fingers to emphasize the point.