Ohio State women fall to No. 1 UConn 70-49
Kevin McGuff is slowly starting to rebuild Ohio State back into
a women’s basketball power.
It’s going to be awhile before the first-year coach gets
Raven Ferguson scored all 14 of her points in the second half of
the Buckeyes’ 70-49 loss to No. 1 Connecticut in the Women’s
Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge on Sunday.
”We have a long way to go,” McGuff said. ”But we’re starting
to forge an identity. We’re light years from where we want to be.
Today was a great opportunity to measure ourselves against the
The Buckeyes (6-3) were able to slow UConn by grinding out each
possession and playing tough defense. Ohio State held UConn to its
lowest point total of the season and made the Huskies work for many
of their points.
”They’re so good you have to give up something,” McGuff said.
”We just got beat by the best team in the country. There’s no
moral victories, but we don’t come into the game focused on the
score. We focused on how hard we want to play and do the things
that make us a good team. For the most part we did that.”
It doesn’t get easier for Ohio State, which will play at
Maryland on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten challenge. Then the
Buckeyes host Gonzaga.
This was only the second meeting between the schools. UConn beat
Ohio State in 2010 at Madison Square Garden for its 88th straight
victory to tie the NCAA record for most consecutive victories, held
by the UCLA men’s team. UConn went on to break it.
The victory on Sunday was UConn’s 52nd straight in
Bria Hartley scored 17 points and Stefanie Dolson added 15 to
lead UConn (9-0) to the win.
”We talk about it a little bit,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma
said. ”When they’re giving away trophies we want to be in line to
Auriemma recalled the last regular-season tournament loss – to
Vanderbilt in 1992. He didn’t finish that game.
”I got thrown out of that game and that’s why we lost it,” he
said laughing. ”We were losing by a lot and that’s why I got
UConn was a bit rusty at the start against Ohio State. It’s no
surprise with the Huskies coming off a much-needed seven-day break,
having played four games in five days. They had eight games in the
first 15 days of the season. UConn next plays Thursday against UC
Davis and then is off for exams until visiting No. 2 Duke on Dec.
”It’s tough. You get your body and mind used to one schedule
and then it will change again,” said Dolson, who added 13
rebounds. ”Every team goes through that at some time and we have
to make sure our mindset is always right.”
Auriemma said it was even tougher last week for the Huskies, who
are down to seven scholarship players because of injuries to
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck. With the school on break
for the holiday, the male practice players weren’t around.
”Practice becomes less than productive at times,” he said.
”There’s instances when you want a lot of games and not a lot of
practice as much. We start school (Monday) and are back on our
routine. There’s nothing you can do about it. The schedule is what
it is and we go through it every year.”
Connecticut got off to a slow start and led 13-10 midway through
the first half before finally getting going offensively. Saniya
Chong started a 22-7 run to close the half with a 3-pointer.
Hartley, Dolson and Brianna Banks took over from there, scoring the
other 19 points during the burst. The Huskies led 35-17 at the
Ohio State hung around in the second half and trailed 50-36 with
8:11 left, but got no closer.
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