COLUMBUS — Stephanie Mavunga scored 25 points and Kelsey Mitchell added 21 to help No. 10 Ohio State rout Minnesota 91-75 on Thursday night.
Mavunga was sensational in hitting 11 of her 15 shots from the floor and grabbing five rebounds before leaving the game with 7:49 left. The Buckeyes played tight, aggressive defense in limiting a Golden Gophers team that had been averaging nearly 87 points a game but shot just 39 percent from the floor. Minnesota turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 18 Ohio State points.
Ohio State (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten) won its seventh in a row, including all six games in the month of December.
Minnesota (12-4, 1-2) lost its second in a row, having dropped a conference matchup with Nebraska on Dec. 31.
Destiny Pitts paced Minnesota with 28 points, including seven 3-pointers, but she didn’t get in a rhythm until the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes led 29 at the half behind a 23-2 run that spanned the first and second quarters. Nine turnovers by the Gophers led to 12 Ohio State points. Minnesota shot just 24 percent in the frame.
Ohio State opened a 35-point lead by the end of the third quarter before rotating out most of its starters. The Gophers scored 36 in the final quarter to make the score look better.
Minnesota: Normally high-scoring Gophers fell in their first contest against a ranked opponent. Done in by a bad first half and good Ohio State defense.
Ohio State: Discovers its defense and gets a key conference win to start 2018.