OSUWBB Plenty of room to grow for new look Buckeyes
Ohio State Women’s Basketball opened its 54th season of play on Tuesday, welcoming the University of South Florida to the Jerome Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes have the difficult task of replacing 93.3% of their scoring from just a season ago. The Buckeyes are just one of three teams in the NCAA who have to replace all five starters. The roster turnover shouldn’t prove a problem as the Buckeyes are rich in experience. Tuesday night was the debut for the the “new look” Ohio State squad.
The Scarlet & Gray showed promise early on. Freshman forward Dorka Juhász got the Buckeyes on the board, scoring her first collegiate basket off from the tip-off. A clever assist from guard Carmen Grande created space for the the 6’4″ center, allowing her to score. South Florida answered by earning points on their next four trips down the floor. Sophomore Kitija Lasksa galvanized the Bulls offense, earning five points in the first quarter as USF closed the half with a ten-point lead on the Buckeyes.
Looking to add to the advantage in the second quarter, Lasksa got help from freshman guard Sydni Harvey. The first-year player contributed six points to the Bulls efforts, going 1-of-3 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the second quarter. It wasn’t all good news for South Florida in the second quarter. The Bulls offense fell stagnant, scoring just 16 points and being held without a field goal for more than six minutes. Ohio State couldn’t capitalize off the South Florida misfortune, turning the ball over three times in the quarter and headed in the locker room down 18 points at the half.
Bulls guard Syndi Harvey picked up right where she left off in the first half, scoring the first seven points of the half, and maintaining control of the game. South Florida continued to exhibit its dominance against the Buckeyes, opening up a 59-36 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Things evened out in the final quarter as the Buckeyes held the Bulls to 12 points. Graduate transfer Carly Santoro played a strong game, earning 14 points and one assist. Despite Santoro’s efforts the Scarlet & Gray couldn’t come away with the victory, dropping the opening game 71-49.
Room to grow
Don’t hit the panic button yet. Ohio State is experiencing some growing pains in the post Kelsey Mitchell era. This new Buckeye squad has an incredibly high ceiling and will continue to grow in the days and weeks ahead.
Double Double for Dorka
The Hungarian center had an incredible debut on Tuesday night, earning her first points and double double of her college career. Head coach Kevin McGuff and the Buckeye staff agree that the young player has a chance to be “really special.”
Ohio State stay home for its next contest. The Buckeyes welcome Detroit Mercy to the Schottenstein Center on Friday night. Tip-off is at 7:00pm.