The Buckeyes got back in the win column and are now 21-6 on the season and 10-3 in Big Ten play.
It was a game of runs as the Buckeyes had the final push in the third quarter which helped build what would ultimately be a comfortable lead.
In addition to her 28 points, Mitchell dished-out five assists and had three steals. For Harper, this was her 11th double-double of the year.
Alex Wittinger had career-highs of 30 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Illini. Brandi Beasley and Ali Andrews both chipped-in with 15 points.
The Buckeyes forced 17 turnovers and scored 26 points as a result. Illinois was able to stay in the game as the Illini grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and had 21 second chance points.
The first quarter featured runs by both teams. The Buckeyes came out of the gate on a 13-4 run behind a pair of Mitchell threes. The Illini then responded with a late 17-3 run and the hosts led 21-16 at the end of one.
Ohio State continued the back-and-forth action as a 14-0 Buckeye run at the onset of the second quarter put the Buckeyes back in front 34-25 midway through the second. Harper had eight points and Mitchell added six to account for all 14 points during the spurt. The Illini wouldn’t go away and used an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 38-33 at halftime.
The Buckeyes applied the full court pressure in the third quarter and forced 10 Illini turnovers in the quarter. That helped the Buckeyes score 28 points and build a 66-48 lead headed to the fourth.
Illinois got as close as 11 early in the fourth quarter to force an OSU timeout but after that, the Buckeyes closed-out the game for a 19-point victory.
- Linnae Harper recorded her 11th double-double of the year with 20 points and 12 rebounds
- This was Harper’s fifth 20-point game of the season
- Kelsey Mitchell made five three-pointers in the game, marking her sixth game this season with five or more triples
- This was Mitchell’s 13th game of five or more assists this season
- The 12 three-pointers the Buckeyes made were the most since making 14 against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 24.
Ohio State will return home for a big game Sunday vs. Purdue at Value City Arena. It will not on be Senior Day, where the team will honor its five seniors before and during the game but it is also the team’s Pink Game. Ohio State will be honoring current cancer fighters and survivors throughout the day and donations will be accepted to help the Kay Yow Fund.