The Ohio State women’s basketball team will shoot for a season-best four-game winning streak when it hosts Minnesota on Thursday night in Value City Arena.
It’s a modest goal, but such narrow focus has helped the Buckeyes since back-to-back losses to nationally ranked Big Ten opponents Iowa and Maryland in late January.
“We have always the goal to win the next game,” freshman forward Rebeka Mikulasikova said Wednesday. “It’s important to focus on the next game, not to have a big goal. Winning against Minnesota and then the next game and the next game will help us be successful.”
Mikulasikova played a big role in helping Ohio State (14-9, 7-5) win its last game. She made her first start of the season in place of injured Dorka Juhasz and totaled 12 points and five rebounds in an 82-74 win over Wisconsin.
The native of Slovakia has scored in double figures in three straight games and in five of Ohio State’s past seven. She averages 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting a team-best 43.9% from three-point range.
“Every game is a new chance to play better,” Mikulasikova said. “I’m trying to be responsible and work on my mistakes.”
Mikulasikova likely will come off the bench against Minnesota, as OSU coach Kevin McGuff indicated that Juhasz’s right ankle has improved enough to allow her back into the lineup.
McGuff added that he appreciates the ethic that Mikulasikova and Juhasz, a sophomore from Hungary, bring to the youthful Buckeyes.
In general, European players are more battle-tested than many young American college players. That exposure can come in handy, especially in the later stages of a long season.
“They’ve been in these situations,” McGuff said. “They might have more experience than the typical players who are young. Hopefully, they can kind of push us through this grind.”