Youth You Can’t Ignore
Ohio State’s leading scorers, Sophomore Dorka Juhasz and freshman Kierstan Bell, headline a youthful Buckeyes club. The Buckeyes (7-5) are not only young; but, like Minnesota, the bench has shortened during the season. The recent departure of Freshman Kaelynn Satterfield, Klarke Sconier’s high school teammate, left the Buckeyes with a nine player rotation featuring five freshmen, three sophomores and one junior. Two games ago, against the Illini, the Buckeyes dressed eight available players because Aixa Wone Aranaz was sidelined for personal reasons. Then, with Aranaz returning against Wisconsin on Sunday, Juhasz, who tweeked her ankle against Illini, sat out the Badger game. However, given Juhasz’s participation in pregame warmups before the Badger battle, she will be available for action against Minnesota on Thursday night-lucky us.
Buckeye head coach Kevin McGuff had kept his starting lineup (Juhasz, Aaliyah Patty, Braxtin Miller, Madison Greene and Jacy Sheldon) unchanged since facing the Gophers in the second conference game. But, Juhasz’s injury, caused McGuff to fill her starting spot with another post, Rebeka Mikulasikova, who responded with 12 points and 5 rebounds in 23 minutes. Both Juhasz and Mikulasikova are 6’4” and eat up space in the paint. And both players fancy themselves as three point specialists. Well not really; but they do enjoy stepping beyond the arc and successfully launching threes. In B1G play, Juhasz is 19-39 (.487) and Mikulasikova is 9-22 (.409). So, you can’t ignore them anywhere on the court.
Another player you can’t ignore anywhere in the arena is guard Kierstan Bell. Bell comes off the bench for her 20+ minutes a night and injects her own occasionally out of control steam into a game. Bell is an enthusiastic three point shooter more than she is a good three point shooter. She leads the Buckeyes in attempts from beyond the arc making 29-75 (.316). Not surprisingly she is OSU’s high-volume shooter hitting 54-135 from the field. You can sum up her impact by noting she has 26 assists and 27 turnovers B1G play. She demands attention; but sometimes that attention pays defensive dividends.
Bottom Line: McGuff subs frequently and you ignore at your peril any of the nine (or eight) players he plays.
OSU Defeated Wisconsin for Their 3rd Straight Conference Win:
Last Sunday, the Buckeyes defeated the Badgers 82-74. While Ohio State struggled to stop Abby Laszewski who had a career high 26 points, the Badgers went 0-8 from beyond the arc. OSU’s 6-25 from three provided a gap Wisconsin could not overcome. For the Buckeyes, Bell had a solid day with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Patty added 16 points, Croom 14 and Mikulisikova 12.
OSU Defeated Nebraska:
Kicking off the recent win streak was perhaps Ohio State’s most important victory of the season. Trailing at the half by 15 in Lincoln, the Buckeyes forced overtime and then escaped with an 80-74 win. It was Braxtin Miller knocking down the dagger three with :35 seconds remaining. Ohio State was 10-36 from three and the Buckeyes posted three double doubles. Jahasz had 13 points and 10 rebounds; Bell with 16 and 12 and Patty with 12 and 12. Miller scored 17 and Mikulasikova 13. It was the very definition of a balanced effort.
The Last Gopher/Buckeye Game
Juhasz and Bell aside, Gopher fans particularly remember the 6’3” sophomore Aaliyah Patty. In the early season matchup with Minnesota at Williams Arena, Patty, in 23 minutes, delivered 13 points and 10 rebounds. Plus, she hit the layup capping a seven point run giving Ohio State a 64-63 lead with 1:40 remaining. Gopher frustration followed with the only additional scoring being a buzzer beating lay-up by Juhasz making the final 66-63.
As a freshman, it was Patty, who, as the leading scorer (20 points, 6 rebounds in 30 minutes), abetted another fourth quarter comeback defeating Minnesota 65-55 at Williams Arena. Crooms was the only other Buckeye to play in last season’s contest.
Dorka Juhasz last six games:
Kierstan Bell’s last six games:
B1G Wins: @ Minnesota 66-63, Michigan 78-69, Penn State 80-70, Illinois 77-47, @ Nebraska 80-74 (OT), @ Illinois 78-58, Wisconsin 82-74
B1G Losses: Purdue 50-66, @ Maryland 62-72, @ Michigan State 65-68, @ Iowa 68-77, Maryland 65-85.
Probable Starters (B1G Stats):
Bench (B1G Stats):
|6’3”||F||Fr||Aixa Wone Aranaz||5.2||0.9||0.7|