Women's basketball: No. 14 Ohio State earns third straight ranked win, beats No. 16 Indiana on the road 78-70
Miller led Ohio State with a season-high 25 points.
Ohio State has defined itself as a gritty team that learned a bitter lesson the last time it went on the road.
Thursday at Indiana, that lesson was clearly learned to achieve something only one other team in school history had previously done.
With their lead cut to four with 4:12 remaining, Ohio State’s experienced leaders Braxtin Miller and Dorka Juhasz carried the Buckeyes to the finish line. On that crucial possession, Miller hit a jumper just below the foul line. Juhasz then pulled down an offensive rebound through contact on the next possession and put the Buckeyes back up eight.
Down double digits before they even got on the scoreboard, the No. 14 Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) quickly erased an early deficit and made a couple runs in the fourth quarter to cruise in the final two minutes to a 78-70 victory over the No. 16 Hoosiers (9-4, 7-2) at Assembly Hall.
“Our team really executed well in the second half, and I think (Miller) was a big part of that,” McGuff said. “Madison and Jacy didn’t have their normal nights so we really needed her to step up and she did a great job.”
In its third straight game against a ranked team, Ohio State scraped through numerous lead changes to find a third consecutive win to stay even with Michigan and Maryland in losses atop the standings, despite its top scoring in Jacy Sheldon and Madison Greene combining for 11 points on 1-of-15 shooting.
The only other time in school history the Buckeyes had beaten three ranked opponents in a row was in 1993 when Katie Smith led Ohio State to an NCAA runner-up finish.
"This win means a lot for us,” Juhasz said.
Miller scored a season-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Juhasz had a double-double with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 12 rebounds. Indiana’s Grace Berger led all scorers with 26 points and Mackenzie Holmes added 17, with each having 10 rebounds.
Indiana jumped out to an 11-0 lead as Ohio State missed its first eight shots, and the Hoosiers held leading scorers Jacy Sheldon and Madison Greene to a combined 0 for 9 from the field with zero points in the first half.
But Miller and Juhasz picked up the slack with their best halves of the season, quickly erasing the early deficit and tying the game at 20 early in the second quarter. When Indiana started to build its lead again after a layup from Ali Patberg to lead 32-25, Juhasz and Miller scored the next 13 points and entered halftime with 29 of Ohio State’s points, trailing 39-38.
“I just felt like I did whatever I needed to do to help the team at the time,” Miller said. “That’s how I feel every game but I never felt really pressured like I needed to pick things up.”
Despite a stretch of 2-of-13 shooting in the third quarter, Sheldon’s first field goal of the game held the deficit at one entering a final quarter that Ohio State wore Indiana down on offense and swarmed the Hoosiers defensively.
Miller, Juhasz, Sheldon and Aaliyah Patty — who missed the past two games with a shoulder injury — combined for an 11-0 run to give the Buckeyes a 10-point lead with 5:29 remaining.
As close as the game was the entire night, it wasn’t a surprise Indiana threatened to pull off a late comeback. Holmes made a layup to cut the Ohio State lead to 64-60 before Juhasz and Miller scored the next seven points, capped by Miller splashing the net from deep for the Buckeyes’ largest lead of the game.
“Nobody panicked down 11-0 to start the game,” McGuff said. “We just kind of got ourselves together and kept playing. Heading into the fourth quarter in a tight game we just really executed and played our game. It’s really great to see.”