Ohio State is entering a women’s basketball game Thursday night at No. 23 Rutgers in an unenviable position, yet one that has not been unfamiliar this season.
The last time the Buckeyes (10-12, 6-7) had this many losses in a season was during coach Kevin McGuff’s first, in 2013-14, when they went 17-18. They are coming off a 78-52 loss Sunday to No. 14 Iowa, but on a positive note, they are 6-5 following a loss this season.
“Our kids have a sense of pride about what we are doing here, so I think they take it personally when we take a tough loss and try to get back and practice well to prepare for the next game,” McGuff said.
In the Iowa loss, seniors Makayla Waterman, Carly Santoro and Carmen Grande combined for five points, all coming from Waterman in the fourth quarter before she fouled out. They entered scoring 28 per game as a group.
“Hopefully that was an anomaly and we are going to see them back to their normal selves,” McGuff said. “We’re going to need them leading the way for us to be successful against Rutgers.”
Since Rutgers entered the conference, the Buckeyes are undefeated against the Scarlet Knights, winning seven in a row. However, this season Rutgers (17-6, 9-3) has kept every opponent below its season scoring average.
“They are really an athletic, talented team, one of the best defensive teams in the country,” McGuff said.