Jacy Sheldon scores 20 points to lead No. 2 Ohio State past Penn State

STATE COLLEGE — Jacy Sheldon scored 20 points, Cotie McMahon and Celeste Taylor added 16 apiece and No. 2 Ohio State beat Penn State 82-69 on Thursday night.

It was the 14th straight win for the Buckeyes (23-3, 14-1 Big Ten), who never trailed, sank 11 3s and led by as many as 30 points midway through the fourth quarter.

“I thought we had a great start; I thought that was key,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “I felt like if we gave them confidence early, it could be a long night for us.”

Ashley Owusu scored 22 points and Ali Brigham and Leilani Kapinus added 10 apiece for the Lady Lions (16-11, 7-9), who lost their sixth in a row.

Playing inside the 6,500-seat Rec Hall instead of Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center, which seats 16,000-plus, Ohio State players were determined to take a feisty crowd close to the court out of it early.

The Buckeyes got off to a fast start, and Penn State couldn’t keep pace.

McMahon scored nine of Ohio State’s first 21 points, and Sheldon hit a jumper to put the Buckeyes up 21-4 with just 3:24 left in the first quarter.

Three Ohio State starters hit 3-pointers in the opening 2:30.

“I think we’ve been kind of coming around on that,” McGuff said. “We got open 3s. We made the extra pass. We had 21 assists, so we shared the ball and we got good shots.”

The Lady Lions tried to chip away, but Ohio State was able to maintain its double-digit advantage after leading 37-24 at halftime.

“We’ve got to get tougher, we’ve got to get more disciplined,” Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger said. “I think that’s the big thing that’s hurting us right now is our lack of discipline and awareness.”

McMahon and Taylor combined for three 3s to start the third quarter, adding to Ohio State’s lead and setting up the team’s fourth straight win against Penn State.


Taylor, who previously played at Texas and Duke, went over 1,500 career points.

She also led the Buckeyes with seven assists and made 4 of 7 3-pointers.

“I thought she played really well and she was great on both ends of the floor,” McGuff said. “She made open shots. She distributed the ball, played really, really hard.”


Starting Buckeye guard Rikki Harris played just 14 minutes and left the game in the second quarter with a sprained ankle, McGuff said.

She will be evaluated when the team returns to Columbus.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes already clinched a top four seed and two byes in the Big Ten Tournament with their win over Nebraska a week ago. They forced 30 turnovers and had 15 steals in that one-sided affair. They kept forcing Penn State mistakes in this one and scored 30 points off 27 giveaways.

Penn State: The Lady Lions have played hard during their losing streak, but it’s clear they are hurting. Their last win came at Minnesota on Jan. 31, when they lost top 3-point shooter Tay Valladay for the season to a knee injury.


Ohio State: Hosts Maryland on Sunday.

Penn State: Visits Purdue on Wednesday.