Months after losing Kelsey Mitchell to graduation, Ohio State has landed its highest-ranked women’s basketball recruit since the four-time All-American.

Kierstan Bell, ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2019 by ESPN HoopGurlz, of Canton McKinley announced her commitment to the Buckeyes on Saturday, growing Ohio State’s 2019 class to three.

The 6-foot-1 guard earlier this year became just the fifth player in Ohio girls basketball history to repeat as Ms. Basketball, just a year after becoming the first sophomore to win the award. She averaged 33.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and five steals per game as a junior.

Bell also gained some attention in January when she scored 38 points in front of LeBron James during a league game.

>> Read more: McKinley’s Kierstan Bell repeats as Ms. Basketball

>> Video: Kierstan Bell in action

She is the third top-60 recruit in the 2019 class to commit to Ohio State, joining Indiana point guard Rikki Harris (No. 24) and Dublin Coffman guard Jacy Sheldon (No. 46).

The class is already one of the best in coach Kevin McGuff’s tenure at Ohio State, but Bell could also give the Buckeyes the momentum to compete for other big 2019 Ohio targets. Africentric guard Jordan Horston is ranked No. 8 in the 2019 class by ESPN and Toledo Rogers guard Zia Cooke is ranked No. 10.

Ohio State will feature nine new players in the 2018-19 season, including four freshmen and five graduate transfers.

aerickson@dispatch.com

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