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Women's basketball: Buckeyes fall at Northwestern, three-game win streak ends

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra

The Ohio State women’s basketball team’s three-game winning streak was snapped Monday night in a 69-57 loss at Northwestern.

It was only the second loss this season for the Buckeyes, who were ranked No. 11 in the latest Associated Press poll released earlier in the day.

Had they prevailed in Evanston, it would have been their fourth win in a row against ranked teams for the first time in school history.

But the Buckeyes, falling to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten, never led against the 22nd-ranked Wildcats and trailed by as many as 17 points midway through the second quarter.

With a late rally, Ohio State cut Northwestern's lead to a 55-52 margin with 4:11 left following a pair of free throws by junior forward Aaliyah Patty.

But the Wildcats scored on their next three possessions to build a comfortable cushion over the final minutes. It was never as close again.

“We had such a disastrous start,” Buckeyes coach Kevin McGuff said on , “but we started to get the game going in a direction that we wanted, but we expelled a lot of energy to try to make that comeback and we ran out of gas down the stretch.”

Northwestern guard Veronica Burton nearly put together a triple-double, finishing with 20 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. She also had four steals.  

“We had a hard time keeping her in front,” McGuff said. “She’s really quick and aggressive driving to the basket.”

Junior forward Dorka Juhasz led Ohio State with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Patty was the only other Buckeye to finish in double-figures. The Buckeyes shot 29%, struggling against a zone defense.

In particular, McGuff lamented their 16 turnovers, something he viewed as uncharacteristic against a zone.

They had single-digit turnovers in previous matchups against teams that relied on zone defenses.

In a sluggish start, the Buckeyes were held to eight points in the first quarter, marking their lowest-scoring quarter in 12 games this season.

Over the first eight minutes, they shot 3 of 15, missing all five attempts from 3-point range.

Nearly 11 minutes elapsed in the first half in which OSU was without a field goal, missing 12 consecutive shot attempts.

The cold stretch ended with 4:32 left in the second quarter when Juhasz cut toward the basket, caught a pass from Braxton Miller and finished a layup.

They tightened the score ahead of halftime when they finished the quarter on a 9-2 run, capped by a buzzer-beating fast-break layup by Jacy Sheldon who entered transition when Kateri Poole stripped a Northwestern forward driving to the basket.

The Buckeyes trailed, 32-25, following the first two quarters.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman