Ohio State's Madison Greene willed Buckeyes to comeback win at Iowa
With a little more than two minutes remaining in a women's basketball game between Iowa and Ohio State on Wednesday, Hawkeyes forward McKenna Warnock grabbed a rebound and passed ahead to teammate Gabbie Marshall, who had a look at a layup that would have put her team up 73-67.
Instead, Ohio State guard Madison Greene sprinted back and stripped the ball as Marshall went up for shot. Greene made a layup on the Buckeyes' next possession and later made another of her career-high six steals that led to a Gabby Hutcherson three-pointer to put the Buckeyes up one point with 1:29 left in the game.
Greene, who finished with 20 points, has been Ohio State’s engine in crucial moments all season. At no other point was that more apparent than in the Buckeyes’ 84-82 overtime victory in Iowa City, where she scored 13 points in the second half and limited Iowa star Caitlin Clark to spur OSU's comeback from a double-digit deficit.
The Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) ended the Hawkeyes' 42-game home winning streak.
"Caitlin Clark's such a great player and a tough matchup for anybody, but I thought Madison did a good job,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said of Greene's work against the superlative freshman Clark, who finished with 27 points.
“I was a little worried about (Greene) having to expend so much energy, but she did a phenomenal job and still had enough to make some great plays on offense as well,” McGuff said.
Clark entered as the Big Ten's second-leading scorer at 25.6 points per game. She scored 13 points in the first quarter to help Iowa (8-3, 4-3) to a nine-point lead but only 14 thereafter once Greene was switched to guard her instead of Braxtin Miller.
"Braxtin was like, 'You should guard her,' ” Greene said. “I just feel like being up on her and pressing her, she didn't really like that.”
In the next three quarters and overtime, Greene held Clark to 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting, including 0 of 6 from three-point range, and frustrated her into committing six turnovers.
With the score tied at 78 with 2:05 remaining in overtime, Greene stole the ball from Clark one final time and finished a layup to give OSU the lead. Greene finished her night by defending Clark tight on the perimeter, forcing a miss on a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.
McGuff knew Greene would have to be a catalyst offensively for Ohio State’s comeback, but he needed her energy on the defensive as well. When the Buckeyes needed it, she handled both.
"It's a lot to ask of a player but I know she can handle it and that's not by accident,” McGuff said. “She works incredibly hard and she's very disciplined in practice about preparing for these games.”