No. 16 IU women’s basketball and No. 14 Ohio State will tip off at 8 p.m. Thursday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. This is IU’s second straight game against a ranked team after beating No. 21 Northwestern University 74-61 on Sunday.
“This group in particular, they just want to play, and they want to compete,” head coach Teri Moren said. “We are excited about the next opportunity, and it just happens to be tomorrow night against a really good team in Ohio State.”
The Buckeyes are coming off a two-game winning streak, with both wins against ranked teams. They defeated No. 7 Maryland 88-86 on Monday and No. 12 Michigan 81-77 last Thursday.
Stopping Ohio State from scoring could prove to be a challenge for IU, with the Buckeyes averaging 85.3 points per game. The Hoosiers’ balanced scoring from all positions could assist them in keeping up with the No. 3 scoring offense in the Big Ten.
“We know this: This group has tremendous potential with all different types and ways we can score,” Moren said about her team. “Whether it's at the guard spot or whether it's inside with Mackenzie and Aleksa, we pride ourselves on having balance scoring.”
Senior guard Ali Patberg will be tasked with guarding sophomore guard Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State's top scorer and 3-point shooter. Sheldon averages 18 points per game and shoots 39% from beyond the arc.
This matchup provides the Hoosiers with an opportunity to end a 14-game losing streak against the Buckeyes. IU hasn’t defeated Ohio State since January 2010.
IU nearly pulled off the elusive win last season, outscoring Ohio State in every quarter but the fourth. However, they ultimately stayed on trend and dropped another game to the Buckeyes, 80-76.
Moren said she believes it will be another fight to victory, given Ohio State’s talented starters, size down low and threatening perimeter players.
“This is a really, really balanced Ohio State team,” Moren said. “We are going to have to try to limit, as much as we can, our mistakes defensively because they will make you pay. If you have any slippage, they will make you pay.”