Ohio State Completes Largest Big Ten Tournament Comeback to Advance to Championship Game
The Buckeyes rallied from a 24-point deficit against Indiana to punch their ticket to the finals.
Credit Source: Ohio State University Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 14/14 and fourth-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes (25-6, 12-6 B1G) beat No. 2/2 and top-seeded Indiana (27-3, 16-2 B1G) by a 79-75 margin in the Big Ten semifinals on Saturday, completing the largest comeback in Big Ten women’s basketball tournament history.
Indiana finished the first quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 23-12 lead after 10 minutes of play. The Hoosiers used a run late in the second quarter to extend the lead to 46-26 going into the locker room. Ohio State cut the deficit down to as little as four and outscored Indiana 27-17 in the third quarter but trailed 63-53 after 30 minutes. Ohio State outscored Indiana 26-12 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Taylor Thierry was the first Buckeye to reach double figures and finished with 19 points and tied her career-high 12 rebounds for her second career double-double. Rikki Harris closed followed Thierry in scoring and finished with 13 points. Cotie McMahon reached double figures in the fourth quarter, finishing with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for her third career double-double and second of the tournament. Taylor Mikesell (13) and Jacy Sheldon (12) also scored in double figures.
How it Happened
Rikki Harris opened scoring before Indiana built an early 10-4 lead. Ohio State tied the game at 10 and 12 before an 8-0 Hoosiers run gave Indiana the 20-12 lead and forced a Buckeye timeout with 3:25 to play in the quarter. IU extended its run to 11-0 to end the first quarter with a 23-12 lead.
Indiana scored the first five points of the second quarter to extend its lead to 28-12 with 8:38 to play in the half, forcing an OSU timeout. Taylor Thierry broke Ohio State’s scoring drought with a second-chance opportunity. The Buckeyes cut the deficit to 32-20 with 4:35 remaining in the first half. Indiana strung together runs of six and eight and led 46-26 going into the locker room.
After an opening IU triple, Ohio State scored the next eight points of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 49-34 with 7:33 to play in the quarter. The Buckeyes trailed by a 53-39 margin at the media timeout. Ohio State used runs of eight and six to cut the deficit to 55-51 with 2:30 to play in the third quarter. Indiana had the next six points to stretch the lead back to double digits at 61-51 with just under a minute remaining and led 63-53 after 30 minutes.
Ohio State scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to get within five points at 63-58 with 8:43 to play. After five Indiana points to get the lead back to double digits, OSU got within five points at 68-63 and 70-65 with 5:22 to play. Ohio State took the 72-71 lead on a three-point play from Mikesell with 3:12 to play. The teams traded the lead before the Buckeyes scored the final five points of the game to earn the 79-75 victory.
- This is the largest comeback in the history of the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament as Ohio State was down as many as 24 points.
- Ohio State had five score in double figures.
- Taylor Thierry reached double figures for the 24th time this season, becoming the first Buckeye with 10+ points and finishing with 19 points. She added tied her career-high 12 rebounds for her second career double-double, the previous one coming against Indiana earlier this season.
- Rikki Harris scored 10+ points for the sixth time this season and totaled 13 points.
- Cotie McMahon recorded her second-straight double-double and third of her career, scoring 12 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds.
- Taylor Mikesell scored in double figures for the 29th time this season and finished with 13 points.
- Jacy Sheldon reached double figures for the first time since returning to the lineup, totaling 12 points.
Ohio State will face the winner of the Iowa vs. Maryland game in the Big Ten Championship on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN and FM 97.1.
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