Mitchell has 25 points, No. 7 Ohio State beats Belmont 84-56
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Kelsey Mitchell had 25 points and six assists and No. 7 Ohio State beat Belmont 84-56 on Thursday for its first victory of the season.
Ameryst Alston scored 15 of her 22 points in the first half, and Cait Craft added 15 points and a career-high nine assists.
Ohio State (1-2) was 0-2 for the first time since 1979 after losing to No. 2 South Carolina (88-80) and No. 1 UConn (100-56).
''We were just looking for a chance to bounce back,'' Mitchell said.
Ohio State made 10 3-pointers in the first half, while Belmont (2-1) had only seven successful field goals. Belmont cut it to 24-12, but the Buckeyes reeled off 14 points in a row. Mitchell had two 3-pointers and Craft and Alston each had one.
Kylee Smith led Belmont with 14 points.
Belmont outrebounded Ohio State 53-34.
''That's impressive. We'll take it. Still lost by 30,'' Belmont coach Cameron Newbauer said, noting that 24 rebounds of those rebounds were on the offensive end. ''We missed almost 50 shots so we got almost half our misses back. I think our kids attacked the glass. We made it a point to box out. We thought there would be a long shots, a lot of threes shots.''
Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff didn't like the way the Buckeyes were beaten on the boards.
''It's a couple of things,'' he said. ''One, it's a little bit of discipline where we're not hitting people. And then it's just effort. They were pursuing the ball better than we were. That's certainly something we can control and we didn't control it tonight.''
Craft had a career-high nine assists.
''That's my teammates. I don't get assists if they don't make the shots,'' she said.
Belmont: This was the first meeting between the schools. The Bruins fell to 1-3 against Big Ten opponents, having lost twice to Michigan and beating Nebraska.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes are the first team in NCAA history to open the season against the top two teams in the country.
SAME PATH: Although the teams did not cross paths. each played exhibition games in Brazil in August. Ohio State was in Sao Paulo from Aug 7-9 and Rio de Janeiro from Aug. 10-15. Belmont from Aug. 3-12 was in Rio.
OUT FOR NOW: Ohio State was without freshman guard Kianna Holland. The Duke transfer has soreness in the knee she had surgery on last season. McGuff doesn't think it's a long-term injury. Alexa Hart took Holland's place in the starting lineup and had six points in 18 minutes.
Belmont: The Bruins remain in Ohio to play Cleveland State on Sunday.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes host Wagner on Sunday.