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Ohio State women view high-scoring Hawkeyes as toughest test yet

Jacob Myers
Buckeye Xtra
Iowa is led by freshman guard Caitlin Clark (22), who is second in the Big Ten in scoring at 25.6 points per game.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team has resettled a bit after a long period of no games. Now the Buckeyes will face their best opponent yet on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes at 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

"They’re very talented. They can really score the ball,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “It’ll be a real challenge for us on the defensive end.”

Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) and Iowa (8-2, 4-2) last met in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in the spring, an 88-67 victory for the Buckeyes that ended Iowa’s season due to the cancellation of last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes lost two of their top three scorers from last season, but return second-leading scorer Monika Czinano and added star freshman Caitlin Clark. 

Clark, a five-star prospect, leads the Hawkeyes and ranks second in the conference with 25.6 points per game.

"We know they’re going to make a lot of shots,” forward Aaliyah Patty said. “We just have to prepare for what they do individually and try to stop that. We’re going to have to score.”

Ohio State hasn’t played since last Thursday, a 78-55 win against Illinois. Its home game against Rutgers on Sunday was postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests in the Scarlet Knights program.

Since returning from a 25-day break between games caused by their own COVID-19 outbreak, the Buckeyes still are without Dorka Juhasz, Rebeka Mikulasikova and Rikki Harris. McGuff did not say if they would be available against Iowa. 

Despite missing Juhasz, the team’s best rebounder, the Buckeyes have held their own on the glass in two conference games. That task will be more important against a high-scoring team such as Iowa.

"I think we can get on the boards offensively and defensively and try to control the game on that end,” Patty said.

jmyers@dispatch.com

@_jcmyers

Ohio State at Iowa

When: 4 p.m. Wednesday

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: WBNS-AM (1460)