Kelley Paces Gophers To Win At OSU, 76-72
COLUMBUS, Ohio (gophersports.com) – The No. 23 University of Minnesota (15-2, 4-1) women’s basketball team picked up its sixth-straight road win at Ohio State (11-7, 3-3), 76-72, Thursday night at Value City Arena behind a career-best performance from senior Shae Kelley. The senior forward posted career-highs with 29 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks to give the Gophers their third win all-time in Columbus.
The double-double was the sixth for Kelley this season and the first for the senior since a 10-point, 11-rebound performance against College of Charleston on Nov. 29. Also posting a double-double for the Maroon and Gold was junior Mikayla Bailey, who had 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, and also connected on a career-high five three-pointers. It was the second career double-double for the junior.
Despite playing just 23 minutes due to foul trouble, Amanda Zahui B. still finished the contest with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Shayne Mullaney added seven points, five rebounds and posted her second-straight double-digit assist performance with 10 assists.
The Gophers grabbed 60 rebounds for the second time this season and out-rebounded the Buckeyes by 20 boards, 60-40. Minnesota also out-shot the home team, .356 (26-73) to .324 (24-74) and hit 19 of its 22 free throw attempts.
After falling down by as many as eight points early in the first half, the Gophers put together a 15-4 run to not only take their first lead of the game, but go ahead by three points, 21-18, with 5:46 to play in the opening stanza.
The Buckeyes evened the score at 25-25 with Kelsey Mitchell’s fifth three-pointer of the half with just over three minutes to play, before Kelley put Minnesota back on top with a jumper at 1:07. Mitchell would connect on her sixth three-pointer with :35 on the clock to put the Buckeyes on top, 28-27, at halftime.
Kelley finished the half with her sixth double-double of the year and first since Nov. 29 versus College of Charleston with 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Gophers in the half. Minnesota scored 20 of its 27 points in the paint and had 16 points off of offensive rebounds after racking up 36 total rebounds in the half, compared to just 19 boards for Ohio State.
Minnesota opened the second half with a three-pointer from Bailey to go ahead by two points, 30-28, and would eventually go ahead by seven points, 55-48, on a layup from Kelley at 8:58. The Gophers took their largest lead of the game, 58-50, on another layup from Kelley, but the Buckeyes closed the gap to two points, 59-57, with 5:13 to play. A 6-0 run from the Gophers put them back on top by eight and Ohio State would not be able to come any closer than four points for the remainder of the game.
Minnesota returns to Williams Arena for a 2 p.m. contest against Indiana Sunday, pre-game at 1:30 on KROC AM.