The Ohio State women’s basketball team’s quest to get to .500 was in danger when Wisconsin had an 11-0 run and took a 14-point lead midway through the second quarter Sunday at Value City Arena, but Dorka Juhasz put forth a spirited effort and rallied the Buckeyes to a 70-68 win in front of 5,931.
Juhasz scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Buckeyes (12-12, 8-7) won for the fifth time in their last seven Big Ten games.
She stopped the Badgers' second-quarter spurt by making a layup, grabbing a defensive rebound and then converting a three-point play in just over a minute to pull Ohio State within nine.
“She was really active, especially offensively, and moved well and got herself in position to get great shots,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said.
During a key fourth-quarter possession, Juhasz rebounded a three-point attempt by Carly Santoro and dished the ball to Carmen Grande. Grande missed a three, Juhasz grabbed that rebound and scored for a 60-51 OSU lead with 6:40 left.
“I didn’t play the way I wanted to in (recent) games,” Juhasz said. “We only have a few left, so that was the motivation for me.”
The Buckeyes went up 65-52 on an inside bucket by Juhasz, but the Badgers mounted a 16-5 run to close things. Wisconsin (12-14, 3-11) had a chance to win the game following a missed free throw by Santoro, but a wayward three-point attempt by Kendra Van Leeuwen didn’t get off before the final buzzer.
Over the final 4:14, the Buckeyes didn’t make a field goal and went 5 of 10 from the line. Ohio State committed four personal fouls and had two turnovers and Wisconsin got a pair of three-pointers by Suzanne Gilreath and one by Nira Beverly to make it close.
“With about five minutes to go in the (first) half we started moving the ball and attacking and things started to go our way,” McGuff said. “I thought we played pretty good in the second half except down the stretch when we made some critical errors and they made some threes.”
Juhasz and Janai Crooms each scored 11 points in the first half, when the Badgers built a 36-30 halftime lead.
Ohio State came out in the second half with back-to-back threes from Grande and Crooms in the first 47 seconds to tie it at 36. Santoro made a three later in the quarter and OSU outscored the Badgers 23-13 to take a 53-49 lead to the fourth.
Crooms went to the bench with her fourth foul with 3:28 left in the third and the Badgers leading 45-43. When she re-entered the game with 5:09 left in the fourth, Ohio State led 61-52, as Jensen Caretti and Adreana Miller filled the void. The team was plus-15 for the game with Caretti on the floor and plus-9 with Miller.
Crooms finished with 14 points, Santoro made four free throws in the final quarter and scored six points to finish with 12. Grande played 40 minutes and scored 13 with six rebounds and five assists.