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Recap: No. 14 Ohio State forces 29 Tennessee turnovers in big-time win

The Ohio State Buckeyes forced the No. 5 Tennessee Lady Volunteers into their most turnovers since 2013. Jacy Sheldon led the way with eight steals.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Jacy Sheldon notched a career-high in steals Tuesday night.
Joseph Scheller/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes will be moving up in the rankings if they can take care of business at Boston College on Sunday because they forced the No. 5 Tennessee Lady Volunteers into 29 turnovers Tuesday night en route to an 87-75 victory at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. An 18-0 run between the third and fourth quarters allowed them to turn the tide. Per Her Hoop Stats, Tennessee last committed 29 or more turnovers on March 3, 2013 (31).

It was a great way for the Buckeyes (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) to start the 2022-23 season.

Their best player, Jacy Sheldon, was the star, though not because of her scoring (14 points), but rather her defense (eight steals) and distributing (seven assists). Two of Sheldon’s steals turned into the final four points of the 18-0 run, after which Ohio State led 69-54 with 8:47 to go.

Sheldon’s partner in crime, fifth-year sharpshooter Taylor Mikesell, dropped a game-high 25 points, including 10 on the 18-0 run and the final five of a 9-0 run that increased the Buckeyes’ lead from eight to 17 with 3:25 to play.

Tennessee (0-1, 0-0 SEC) won the first quarter by six and the second by two to lead by eight at halftime. It still led by five with 5:40 to go in the third and by three at the 2:40 mark of that frame. But at the 2:24 mark, a Mikesell basket began the 18-0 Ohio State run. Mikesell followed with a three at 1:46, giving the Buckeyes the lead.

Rebeka Mikulášiková (17 points, nine rebounds, three assists) scored next on a layup and then Mikesell went on another 5-0 individual run to close out the third. The 6-0 run with which Ohio State opened the fourth featured four points from freshman Cotie McMahon and two free throws from Sheldon.

The game was far from over after the 18-0 run — the Lady Vols went on an 8-0 run from 7:38 in the fourth to 5:43 remaining to cut it to eight. Star Tennessee senior Jordan Horston, who finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, cut it to 13 with a 3-point play at 7:38. Minnesota transfer Jasmine Powell then cut it to 11 with a transition bucket off a Jillian Hollingshead steal. Tess Darby closed the Lady Vol run with a trey and after that, there was plenty of time left for Tennessee to make up the eight points.

However, back-to-back jumpers from Madison Greene and Sheldon gave the Buckeyes some breathing room, and then Mikesell went on yet another 5-0 individual run. Her triple at 3:25 remaining was her fourth of the contest — she finished 4-of-10. Last year she was second in the nation with 3.6 makes per game and second in efficiency at 47.5 percent. Ohio State led by at least 12 over the final 3:25.

McMahon (two steals) and Taylor Thierry both finished with 10 points for the winners. Greene added seven points, four helpers and three steals. Thierry was 5-of-5 from the field and McMahon was 5-of-6.

Powell finished with 19 points and four assists in defeat. Hyped-up Mississippi State transfer Rickea Jackson (six boards) was held to nine points for the Lady Vols and Tamari Key had eight. Jackson averaged 20.3 points last year. Key averaged 3.5 blocks last year and was held without a block.