If it were up to Jacy Sheldon, the Ohio State women’s basketball team might play all of its games in Las Vegas.
First, Sheldon opened the South Point Shootout last weekend with her first career start, scoring 10 points in a 68-52 loss to South Dakota on Friday. A day later, the 5-foot-10 freshman recorded her first double-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a 64-46 win over Northern Iowa.
After scoring two points in 12 minutes against UConn on Nov. 24, Sheldon looks to be coming into her own.
“I think it was obvious that the first game (in Las Vegas) wasn’t our best game, but I think we can go back and learn from it,” she said. “I think we really bounced back and played a lot harder in the second game.”
Despite having just one start this season, Sheldon is third on the Buckeyes in scoring at 8.3 points per game while making 40% of her three-point attempts (10 of 25).
“She’s doing well; she had a really good weekend,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “She really understands the game and has a great skill set. She has the speed to really help us play how we want to.”
Sheldon’s double-double was the second of the season for the Buckeyes, the first coming when Janai Crooms had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Kent State. Despite having four players 6-3 or taller, the Buckeyes have double-doubles from 5-10 guards.
“We’re a good rebounding team,” Sheldon said. “Our bigs are really good rebounders, which really helps our guards rebound so well — we go against them every day in practice.”
Another bright spot for the Buckeyes has been the play of freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova, who scored 19 points against South Dakota, the season high for any Buckeye.
After getting a late start because of an offseason stress fracture, the 6-4 Slovakian is averaging 11.5 points the past four games.
“The hard part about her getting hurt early was that we had high expectations for how she could help us and now we’re starting to see how she can do that,” McGuff said. “It just hasn’t come as quickly with her injury and her being out in the preseason.”
Eleven days after taking on No. 4 UConn, the Buckeyes welcome No. 2 Louisville to Value City Arena on Thursday. The Cardinals are coming off a 3-0 weekend in the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam that ended with them beating No. 1 Oregon 72-62 on Saturday.
“Louisville’s a great team, they’re coming off a great weekend where they beat the top team in the country,” McGuff said. “It’s another great opportunity for us.”