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Women’s Basketball: No. 10 Ohio State snaps 3-game skid, beats Wisconsin 90-67 on the road

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No. 10 Ohio State (19-3) took on Wisconsin in Madison on Wednesday night and won 90-67. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor

Senior guard Taylor Mikesell scored her 1,000th point as a Buckeye Wednesday, as No. 10 Ohio State’s three-game losing streak came to end after holding off a mid-third quarter run by Wisconsin 90-67 at the Kohl Center.

Mikesell’s milestone as a Buckeye comes only two years after transferring from Oregon to Ohio State (20-3, 9-3 Big Ten), but the Massillon, Ohio, native said stopping the three-game losing streak against Wisconsin (7-16, 2-9 Big Ten) was just as important, as the win is a step in the right direction.

“It’s a little bit of adversity that we were able to overcome,” Mikesell said. “And I think it made us closer.”

Mikesell bounced back from a poor shooting performance Sunday against Purdue, as she scored 21 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range against the Badgers. Sophomore guard Taylor Thierry led the charge, pouring in 25 points and paced the team with seven rebounds.

The Badgers looked to pull out a conference win after blowing a 13-point lead against Northwestern Sunday. Freshman forward Serah Williams scored 23 points and graduate guard Avery LaBarbera shot 5-of-8 from 3, but it wasn’t enough as the Badgers struggled to escape the Buckeyes full court press, as two of Wisconsin’s five starters were held below their season scoring averages of double figures.

“Coach was telling us we had to maintain our focus a lot better,” Thierry said. “Our energy was there for moments, but we had to just stay focused.”

Entering the second half, the Badgers — led by Williams — came out of the locker room clicking on all cylinders from the offensive end. The Buckeyes struggled to contain Williams from the paint, as she scored eight of her 23 points in the third quarter.

An Ohio State turnover allowed junior guard Brooke Schramek to cut the lead to one after a 3-point jumper with 6:05 left to go in the third frame. Thierry scored on back-to-back layups after being fouled on each and converted both free throws, which kept the Buckeyes ahead 56-49.

Head coach Kevin McGuff said Thierry has a bright future and her improvement throughout the season has been fun to watch.

“She had a really good freshman year, and she had a great season,” McGuff said. “She’s exceptional as needed. So, I have really high expectations for her, and she was really special tonight.”

Wisconsin would end the quarter with zero field goals in the last 2:54, while a corner 3 from Mikesell put the Buckeyes up 13 points entering the fourth.

The Buckeyes extended the lead to 23 with less than a minute to go, as the buzzer rang and signaled an end to the Buckeyes three-game losing streak.

From the opening tipoff, the Buckeyes came out applying pressure on the defensive end, forcing nine Badgers turnovers in the first quarter and 14 to end the half.

Williams, the Badgers’ leading scorer, was held to zero points in the first quarter and didn’t attempt a shot from the field. Senior forward Eboni Walker put up a buzzer-beating jumper to end the quarter as the Buckeyes went up 29-14.

Williams came alive in the second frame, scoring eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field. She received help from LaBarbera who ended the half scoring 12 points and going 3-3 from 3-point land, which were the Badgers’ only attempts from behind the arc.

On the other hand, the Buckeyes’ shooting woes continued from 3. After shooting 44 percent in the first quarter, the Buckeyes would go on to shoot 1-of-6 in the second frame. The Buckeyes scored no field goals in the last 2:42.

Thierry ended the half with 12 points, while leading all players with five rebounds. Both teams ended the half shooting 50 percent from the field, but the Buckeyes locked down the Badgers down the stretch to pull out the road win.

“We needed to win a game quite frankly. We did,” McGuff said. “I thought Wisconsin had some real good stretches, so this is a good win on the road.”

The Buckeyes look to continue their momentum down the home stretch Sunday, as they take on Maryland at 4 p.m. at the Xfinity Center. ESPN2 will broadcast.

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