Busy five-day stretch will test Buckeyes
Although it’s not two top 10-ranked opponents coming to Columbus as over the past weekend, the next stretch of games for the Ohio State women's basketball team will be another significant test.
The Buckeyes will play three games in five days at Value City Arena: Idaho on Wednesday, Quinnipiac on Friday and Washington — where Kevin McGuff coached before taking the OSU job in 2013 — on Sunday.
A win against Idaho on Wednesday would be the 1,000th for the program, making the Buckeyes the ninth team in Division I to collect 1,000 wins.
“I just hope we can rely on our experience and maturity with this group and them recognizing that we need to go from game to game,” McGuff said of the recent stretch. “It’s a really tough stretch. You don’t know exactly where you are as a team until you start playing games, and quite frankly I wish we had a little bit more time in practice to shore up the things we learned in the first two games.”
McGuff would especially like the practice time to work on defense, which he said was solid at times in a win over Stanford and an overtime loss to Louisville, but lacking for some stretches.
That raises the question: Why didn’t McGuff and the Buckeyes staff space out their schedule more to allow for more finetuning in practice?
It isn’t that simple.
Nonconference scheduling can be tricky for a program like Ohio State. The Buckeyes typically rely on “buy games,” in which they pay programs to travel to Columbus. McGuff said it’s been harder to schedule these games due to the Buckeyes’ recent success, and they have to be flexible on dates.
Personal relationships come into play, too, and that’s a major reason why Idaho is on the schedule. McGuff played a homeand-home series with the Vandals in his two years with Washington.
He said he and Idaho coach Jon Newlee are friends who “go way back.”
As a result of fitting "buy games," as well as scheduling Washington to fill an unexpected opening, OSU has a front-loaded nonconference schedule, with the Buckeyes playing nine games from Nov. 10 to Nov. 31 but only four from Dec. 3 to Christmas.
The upcoming stretch won’t be easy. Idaho is fresh off an impressive win at Colorado State and returns the Big Sky’s leading scorer from last season, Makayla Ferenz (18.5 Value City Arena WBNS-AM (1460) None
Ohio State 1-1, Idaho 1-0
Ohio State guard Asia Doss posted career highs in points (19) and three-pointers (five) in a 95-90 overtime loss to Louisville on Sunday. … Cardinals guard Asia Durr recorded a school-record 47 points and was 9 of 15 from three-point range. … Idaho made a schoolrecord 18 three-pointers in a season-opening 83-69 win at Colorado State on Friday. … The Vandals' Mikayla Ferenz was the Big Sky Conference's leading scorer last season.
points per game). Quinnipiac is 0-2 but made a Sweet 16 run as a No. 12 seed last season. Washington returns only one G Kelsey Mitchell, 5-8, Sr., 28.0 G Sierra Calhoun, 6-0, Jr., 11.0 G Linnae Harper, 5-8, Sr., 18.0 G Asia Doss, 5-7, Sr., 11.0 F Stephanie Mavunga, 6-3, Sr., 10.5
F Hart, 6-3, Sr., 4.5; F Waterman, 6-2, Jr., 4.5 G Taylor Pierce, 5-7, Jr., 24.0 G Allison Kirby, 5-7, Fr., 14.0 G Mikayla Ferenz, 5-10, Jr., 22.0 F Geraldine McCorkell, 6-0, Sr., 11.0 F Nejra Solo, 6-5, Sr., 0.0
F Isabelle Hadden, 6-4, So, 7.0; F Natalie Klinker, 6-1, Fr., 5.0; G Sarah Bersang, 5-6, Jr., 0.0 starter from last year’s Sweet 16 team.