The Ohio State women’s basketball team started slowly and never fully recovered in a 66-53 loss to Butler in the first game of the West Palm Invitational in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The Bulldogs began the game on an 11-2 run and led 18-7 after the first quarter.
“We just mentally weren’t sharp to start the game, and they made us pay,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said.
Ohio State cut the deficit to 33-25 by halftime and 50-44 after three quarters, but the Bulldogs went on an 8-3 run and led comfortably the rest of the way.
Michelle Weaver scored a season-high 25 points, hitting four three-pointers, to lead Butler (9-1).
The Bulldogs outrebounded Ohio State 36-26 and outscored the Buckeyes 28-14 in the paint. Butler forced 17 Ohio State turnovers, which resulted in 17 points.
“We have to quit turning the ball over,” McGuff said. “We have to know when to play fast to get an easy basket but not take a quick shot when we don’t have a good one. And there’s a big difference between those things.”
Carly Santoro led the Buckeyes with 14 points and five rebounds. Makayla Waterman scored 10 points and had a career-high four blocks.
Dorka Juhasz, Ohio State’s leading scorer, took only three shots and scored two points in 22 minutes. The Buckeyes shot 35.6 percent from the field, including 30.4 from three-point range.
“Sometimes you have to step up a make a shot,” McGuff said.
Ohio State (4-4) finishes play in the tournament against Virginia Tech (11-0) at 12:15 p.m. Friday.