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Women’s Basketball: No. 2 Buckeyes comeback falls short, lose to Purdue 73-65

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Ohio State redshirt junior guard Rikki Harris (1) is helped up by her teammates during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1JVmQD_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State sophomore forward Taylor Thierry (2) dribbles the ball down the court during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=14I5Oc_0kVW9DJP00 The Ohio State women's basketball team huddles on the court during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3U8cj2_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior guard Taylor Mikesell (24) dribbles around a defender during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3lPBEV_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) looks towards the bench during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0hbPHx_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State sophomore forward Taylor Thierry (2) shoots a free throw in the fourth quarter during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0mCxvx_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior guard Hevynne Bristow drives towards the paint during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4bbwhZ_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff coaches late in the second quarter during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0OHJK0_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) gets stopped on a shot during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3d6YZf_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior guard Taylor Mikesell (24) and sophomore forward Taylor Thierry (2) guard a Purdue player during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1l6k3K_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) plays defense during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=15Gydg_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State redshirt junior guard Rikki Harris (1) guards a shot during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1STKzu_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior forward Eboni Walker (22) shoots the ball over a defender during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1igGxq_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) shoots a layup around a defender during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0kvQtn_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon (32) guards the ball near the three point line during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=10i3oI_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior guard Taylor Mikesell (24) guards the ball during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4OgWKZ_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State redshirt junior guard Rikki Harris (1) high fives her teammates after drawing a foul during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0oz6F8_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior forward Rebeka Mikulášiková attempts to block a shot during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1Hz6nW_0kVW9DJP00 Ohio State senior guard Hevynne Bristow (3) is helped off the floor during the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1l3VAc_0kVW9DJP00 The Ohio State women's basketball team sings Carmen Ohio after the No.2 Ohio State-Purdue game Sunday. Ohio State lost 73-65. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2v7c0Z_0kVW9DJP00

After suffering back-to-back losses to ranked Big Ten opponents, the No. 2 Ohio State women’s basketball team looked to get back in the win column Sunday. Yet, as the Buckeyes began their home matchup against Purdue, things were not looking good out of the gate.

The Boilermakers went 7-of-9 from 3-point range in the first quarter en route to a 14-point lead after the first frame. The crowd waited, looking to cheer for the Buckeyes at their home arena.

The Schottenstein center didn’t come alive until 8:27 in the fourth quarter as senior guard Taylor Mikesell hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, but the shot wasn’t enough to keep the momentum to win, as the Buckeyes dropped their third-straight game 73-65.

“It’s just really frustrating because even within the game, we had stretches where we had good focus and good energy,” head coach Kevin McGuff said. “But then we had stretches where it didn’t, and we got to get way closer to 40 minutes of playing the type of basketball we came into the game with.”

The Buckeyes (19-3, 8-3 Big Ten) could not find enough scoring runs to make up for the first quarter deficit, despite holding Purdue to under 50 percent shooting after the first quarter. Sophomore guard Taylor Thierry scored 18 points, while redshirt junior guard Rikki Harris grabbed seven rebounds and senior forward Rebeka Mikulášiková was credited with four assists.

The Boilermakers (15-6, 6-5 Big Ten) shot 45 percent from 3-point range for the game, giving themselves a large enough lead they never relinquished after the first quarter. Senior guard Abbey Ellis scored 26 points, with senior guard Jeanae Terry adding seven rebounds and eight assists.

The first half was entirely dictated by Purdue, with the Boilermakers seemingly hitting every shot they took. A 17-2 run in the last five minutes of the first quarter, highlighted by Ellis making three 3-pointers, led to a 27-13 Purdue lead at the end of the first period of play.

In the second quarter, much of the same occurred for both teams, as Ohio State could not make a 3-pointer while Purdue couldn’t stop. A back-and-forth quarter saw the Boilermakers take a 41-29 halftime lead.

“Coming off two losses you want to bring energy, especially on your home court,” Mikesell said. “And they wanted it more than us at times, more than we did for longer stretches. I think we need to get to a point where we can withstand our energy we had in the third quarter.”

The third quarter brought life into the Schottenstein Center, thanks to renewed defense from Ohio State. The Buckeyes held the Boilermakers to 29.4 percent shooting in the quarter, and converted on 3-of-6 from 3-point range — including two from Mikesell — to bring the score to 52-44 Boilermakers at the end of three quarters.

A hotly contested fourth quarter began with the Buckeyes going on a 14-3 run, highlighted by an and-1 play from freshman forward Cotie McMahon, to tie the score at 58 with 4:28 left. However, from there Ellis took back over the game, scoring eight of Purdue’s last 10 points to leave Columbus with a huge conference victory.

“I think we’ve gotten a little bit away from our identity,” McGuff said. “We’re not transitioning to offense as fast as we were. We’re not pressing consistently, as aggressively and as hard as we were. I think we got to get back to the identity of what’s made us really good this year because we’ve gotten away from that a little bit.”

Ohio State looks to stop its three-game losing streak Wednesday, taking on Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center.

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