Alston helps Ohio State women beat Wagner 106-47
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Ohio State is improving, and that's enough right now for coach Kevin McGuff.
Ameryst Alston scored 26 points, Kelsey Mitchell had 24 and the seventh-ranked Buckeyes routed Wagner 106-47 on Sunday.
Ohio State (2-2) began the season with an 88-80 loss at No. 2 South Carolina, and then lost to No. 1 Connecticut 100-56 at home on Monday. But the Buckeyes beat Belmont 84-56 on Thursday for their first win, and then followed that victory with a dominant performance against the Seahawks.
''I do think we made a lot of progress,'' McGuff said. ''These games it's not really about the opponent, it's about the progress.''
Kaylan Pugh had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Buckeyes, and Shayla Cooper added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
After surging to a 48-18 halftime lead, Ohio State outscored Wagner 37-17 in the third quarter and 21-12 in the fourth.
''I want to say we had about two or three minutes the way we started the quarter that wasn't great and then we got back together and had a really good third quarter,'' McGuff said. ''That was good for us because sometimes we haven't handled success well. We get a lead and we quit doing the things that allow us to get the lead, but we kept doing those things today.''
Jordyn Peck, a senior from Shaker Heights, Ohio, scored 22 points for Wagner (0-3), and Jasmine Nwajei had 15.
Ohio State played without starting guard Cait Craft and reserve guard Kianna Holland. A team spokesman said both absences were ''precautionary,'' with Craft dealing with a sore right foot and Holland experiencing soreness in her surgically repaired knee.
''Knock on wood, I would anticipate (Craft) plays in Vegas,'' McGuff said. ''Kianna, same thing, kind of day to day. I don't know if I'm as confident she'll play out there or not, but we're going to continue to work with her and hopefully get her back quickly.''
Sophomore Asia Doss started in place of Craft but picked up two quick fouls. Pugh, a freshman from Tennessee, replaced her and played a career-high 25 minutes.
Alston scored seven points during a 16-0 run for Ohio State that bridged the first two quarters and put the Buckeyes up 33-12.
Wagner: The Seahawks dropped to 0-13 against the current members of the Big Ten.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes shot 52.1 from the floor and went 9 for 23 from 3-point range.
Wagner hosts Mississippi on Nov. 29.
Ohio State plays Liberty in the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas on Friday.
The game matched the nation's top two scorers from last season, when Nwajei averaged 24.8 points for the Seahawks and Mitchell edged her at 24.9 to become the first freshman to lead the nation in scoring.
Wagner coach Lisa Cermignano said she scheduled Ohio State so Peck could play a game in front of her family and friends from Ohio. A vocal cheering section filled the stands behind the Wagner bench.