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Women’s Basketball: No. 4 Buckeyes finish home stretch with 105-67 victory over North Alabama

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Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) drives through defenders and shoots a layup during the No.4 Ohio State-North Alabama game Saturday. Ohio State won 105-67. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3BvO4z_0jPQxR8v00 The tip is thrown at the beginning of No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3hnUD1_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State junior guard Madison Greene (0) presses the ball as its carried up during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3EgW5Z_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State sophomore guard Taylor Thierry (2) locks up the baseline during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1OYuVE_0jPQxR8v00 North Alabama head coach Missy Tiber coaches up her team during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1sCcbg_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State senior guard Hevynne Bristow (3) locks up her North Alabama counterpart during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2UaHg1_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State junior guard Madison Greene (0) prepares for a pull up three during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3jHRbB_0jPQxR8v00 A North Alabama player cheers on her teammates during the No.4 Ohio State-North Alabama game Saturday. Ohio State won 105-67. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0U0Zph_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State sophomore guard Kaitlyn Costner (20) crosses her defender late in No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0ONkX2_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State head coach Kevin Mcguff coaches his sideline during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3DfqNz_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State freshman guard Kaia Henderson (11) works through the offense during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0GmwdP_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State freshman guard Kaia Henderson (11) drives through the lane during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3Vk88C_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State senior guard Hevynne Bristow (3) fades away from inside the paint No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2p4F7s_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) celebrates with senior guard Hevynne Bristow (3) during No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=276U0q_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State junior guard Madison Greene (0) dribbles the ball up early in No. 4 Ohio States (6-0) 105-67 win over University of North Alabama (3-3) in Columbus on Sunday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2DifiY_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) shoots a three during the No.4 Ohio State-North Alabama game Saturday. Ohio State won 105-67. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=10Bmmg_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State redshirt junior guard Madison Greene (0) dribbles around a defender during the No.4 Ohio State-North Alabama game Saturday. Ohio State won 105-67. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4KcVfg_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State senior guard Taylor Mikesell (24) shoots the ball during the No.4 Ohio State-North Alabama game Saturday. Ohio State won 105-67. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=09HjFO_0jPQxR8v00 Ohio State redshirt junior guard Rikki Harris (1) and senior guard Taylor Mikesell (24) play defense during the No.4 Ohio State-North Alabama game Saturday. Ohio State won 105-67. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0020dv_0jPQxR8v00 The No. 4 Ohio State womens basketball team (6-0) sings 'Carmen' after defeated North Alabama (3-3) 105-67 in Columbus on Saturday. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0fqIiD_0jPQxR8v00

The No. 4 Ohio State women’s basketball team defeated North Alabama 105-67 Sunday at the Schottenstein Center, marking the second-consecutive game to have all five starters score in double figures led by senior forward Rebeka Mikulasikova who scored 23 points.

North Alabama (3-3) faced the Buckeyes (6-0) at less than full strength with senior guard Jacy Sheldon still nursing a lower leg injury and sophomore guard Emma Shumate missing her third game with a head injury.

The Lions picked up a blowout win over Alabama A&M in their last matchup, and they carried some of that momentum into the opening quarter in Columbus. North Alabama came out aggressive offensively, led by sophomore guard Skyler Gill’s 11 points.

Mikulasikova and freshman forward Cotie McMahon carried the load for Ohio State early. The frontcourt pair delivered eight points apiece to give the Buckeyes a 28-22 advantage after the first period.

Just when it seemed like it could be a long night for the Buckeyes, they flipped a switch. Ohio State went on a 15-2 run which included 3’s from senior guard Taylor Mikesell, redshirt junior guard Madison Greene and sophomore forward Taylor Thierry.

Ohio State’s press began to wear on the Lions. They forced eight turnovers in the second quarter and held a 59-37 lead at halftime, outscoring North Alabama 31-15 in the period.

The Lions opened the third quarter with an 8-3 run before Ohio State settled in. Mikulasikova and McMahon again led the charge, scoring 10 and eight points, respectively, to extend the lead to 30.

The Buckeyes passed the century mark for their second consecutive game. Senior guard Hevynne Bristow had nine points and grabbed six rebounds to close out the victory.

Head coach Kevin McGuff said North Alabama shot the ball well early, but he felt his team adjusted accordingly as the game progressed.

“I think our pressure started to take a little bit of an effect,” McGuff said. “I thought we kind of sped them up and took them out of what they were trying to do, and we were able to take some of the turnovers and missed shots and turn them into points on the other end.”

Despite the loss, Gill had a phenomenal day for the Lions. The reigning Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year tallied 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while also swatting away three shots.

As successful as Gill was, most of her production came in the first half which forced McGuff and his staff to make some adjustments. He said he thought his team was giving Gill too much space early on.

“She was getting to dribble, backing people down without us helping,” McGuff said. “We talked about that, especially at halftime. I thought we did a way better job in the second half.”

McMahon finished the game with 20 points for the Buckeyes, a new career-high. The Centerville, Ohio, native said she was just playing her part in the team’s success.

“We all have important roles that we knew coming into this team,” McMahon said. “I know my role, just coming out attacking to the basket, giving opportunities for our shooters to have a wide open 3 when the deep defenders crashed down on me.”

Ohio State’s next game will be a top-10 clash on the road with No. 10 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The game is a part of the 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge and will be available on ACC Network.

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