No. 9 Ohio State women beat Virginia 93-73
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The way No. 9 Ohio State closed out its nonconference schedule gave coach Kevin McGuff plenty of reasons to smile.
The Buckeyes (8-3) not only outscored Virginia 93-73 on Monday night but they led in almost every statistical category, from rebounding (42-36) and assists (16-14) to blocks (8-3) and steals (6-4).
Ohio State shot 56 percent from the field while the Cavaliers were at 35 percent and the Buckeyes owned a huge scoring advantage in the paint (54-18).
''Virginia, I think, is a really good team so this is a great win for us,'' McGuff said. ''I think they'll have an excellent ACC season.''
The Buckeyes won their fourth straight.
''I think we're really going into the right direction,'' McGuff said. ''We've talked most of the year about rebounding and defense and we held a really good team to 35 percent shooting and outrebounded them, so I think we've emphasized the right things and our kids have responded and gotten better, so now it's just a matter of us continuing going down that path because the Big Ten is going to be very difficult.''
Ameryst Alston led five Buckeyes in double figures with 24 points while Kelsey Mitchell added 23, Alexa Hart 19, Shayla Cooper 13 and Asia Doss 10.
The Buckeyes scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed.
After trailing 43-29 at halftime, Virginia outscored Ohio State 28-23 in the third quarter and got as close as three points, but Ohio State dominated the fourth by a 27-16 margin to win going away.
The Buckeyes shot 69 percent in the fourth quarter, and McGuff admitted he was a little sorry they were playing their last game until New Year's Eve.
''As much as I feel like we've got some momentum and we're going in right direction, it will also be good for everybody to spend some time with their family and get away from it for a little bit,'' he said. ''Hopefully we can come back with the same energy and enthusiasm and just continue to get better.''
Faith Randolph of Virginia tied her career high with 26 points. She made 4 of 6 3-point attempts while teammate Mikayla Venson went 4 for 5 from long range and finished with 24 points. Aliyah Huland El added 12 points for the Cavaliers (8-4).
Virginia had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 0-3 against Big Ten teams this season. They previously lost 60-48 to Rutgers and 85-73 to Iowa.
Virginia: The Cavaliers were 5 for 5 from 3-point range in the third quarter and made 11 of 20 from beyond the arc in the game.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes won for the eighth time in nine tries after opening the season with losses to No. 1 Connecticut and No. 2 South Carolina. Their other loss was to No. 3 Notre Dame.
During the Buckeyes' four-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 94.3-68.8.
Ohio State improved to 7-2 all-time against Virginia and avenged an 87-82 loss to begin last season. The Buckeyes are 4-0 against the Cavaliers at home.
Virginia plays Lafayette in Richmond on Monday.
Ohio State hosts Michigan State on Dec. 31.