FINAL: No. 24 Ohio State 88, VCU 50 (Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio)
VCU STARTERS: #3 Green, #22 Williams, #23 Pellechio, #24 Parks, #30 Henry, S.
OHIO STATE STARTERS: #3 Stokes, #4 Hill, #14 Alston, #15 Dobranic, #33 Adams
THE BASICS: No. 24 Ohio State extended its school record home winning streak to 30 games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and third longest in the nation, with an 88-50 victory over VCU Thursday night. Junior Robyn Parks and freshman Janniina Koivunen led the Rams with 13 points apiece, while freshman Kaneisha Atwater chipped in 11 off the bench.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU battled early as back-to-back baskets pulled the Rams within 16-7 at the 11:48 mark in the first half. Parks knocked down a jumper and Koivunen nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc on the ensuing possession to make it a nine-point game.
- Leading by 14 with under eight minutes to play, Ohio State, which has made 10 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, took control and pushed its lead to as many as 28 the rest of the half.
- The Buckeyes picked up where they left off after intermission, scoring 28 of the first 41 points of the second half.
- VCU responded with a quick 11-0 run, including a pair of 3-pointers from Koivunen, with 6:30 to play but Ohio State used its balanced attack to hold off any chance of a rally.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Koivunen hit three 3-pointers for the second time in the last four games and third time overall this season. She entered Thursday's game leading the Atlantic 10 in 3-point field goal percentage.
- VCU received 35 of its 50 points from its bench, including a combined 24 from Koivunen and Atwater.
- Ohio State, which leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the NCAA in field goal percentage, shot 56.9 percent, including 42 percent (9-of-21) from 3-point range.
- VCU faced its third ranked opponent in the last two seasons and still has No. 14 Dayton on its schedule this year. The Rams have faced eight ranked opponents since the 2003-04 campaign.
- Thursday's game marked a homecoming for VCU Head Coach Marlene Stollings and assistant Niki Dawkins as both have ties to Ohio State women's basketball. Dawkins enjoyed a standout career in Columbus from 1985-89, helping the Buckeyes to four NCAA Tournament appearances while earning multiple All-America honors. Stollings, an Ohio native, played collegiately at both Ohio State and Ohio University, and holds the states all-time high school scoring record (3,514 points).
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena for back-to-back home games beginning against Maine on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. The Rams then host Youngstown State on Jan. 4 before their first-ever Atlantic 10 contest at Saint Louis on Jan. 12.