Even after Ohio State picked up a hard-fought win on Thursday against a feisty and tall North Carolina team, coach Kevin McGuff acknowledged there are still strides for the team to make.

The Buckeyes (2-2) will look to notch a second straight victory on Sunday as they play Cincinnati (5-3) at Value City Arena.

 

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“With so many new people and such a new team, we have still a long way to go, especially the offensive execution,” McGuff said.

Against the Bearcats, Ohio State has an opportunity to build on Thursday’s effort in which Carmen Grande scored a career-high 23 points and Dorka Juhasz had her third double-double (18 points, 16 rebounds) in four games.

Juhasz leads the Buckeyes in scoring (12.0 points per game) and rebounds (9.8), with Carly Santoro and Grande adding 11.8 and 7.3 points, respectively.

Despite Grande’s offensive outburst against the Tar Heels, McGuff believes the team can continue its winning ways by focusing on toughness on the glass and stopping opposing offenses.

“We’ve had teams where we win pretty; this isn’t necessarily that team,” he said. “We’re going to have to win with great effort, energy and emphasis on defense and rebounding.”

Cincinnati was riding a three-game winning streak before a 75-63 loss at Ball State on Wednesday. The Bearcats’ top scorers are Nikira Goings (12.3 per game), Antoinette Miller (10.1) and Florence Sifa (10.0).

jfriesen@dispatch.com