Ohio State Edges Army In Final Minute, 59-56

Kelsey Minato

Kelsey Minato

Dec. 13, 2013

Stats

Ohio State 59, Army 56 Get Acrobat Reader

COLUMBUS, Ohio  – Army’s upset bid of Ohio State fell just short on Friday night at Value City Arena as the Buckeyes sank four free-throws in the final 31 seconds to defeat the Black Knights, 59-56. Sophomore Kelsey Minato scored a career-high 27 points as Army led by as many as 10 with under seven minutes to play before a final OSU push sealed the game.  

Minato frustrated the Buckeyes (7-5) from the start, forcing Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff to burn a pair of timeouts less than seven minutes into the game as the sophomore point guard was singlehandedly outscoring OSU to give Army (7-3) a 16-9 lead.

The two squads traded buckets for much of the final six minutes of the first half, with the Buckeyes going up by as much as six, 30-24, after Raven Ferguson’s and-one. Junior Olivia Schretzman drove home a layup with 27 seconds remaining to get Army back within four, 30-26, where it stood at the break. Minato led all scorers at the half with 12 points, while Schretzman had eight points and four rebounds.

The Black Knights opened the second half on a 10-4 run thanks to back-to-back threes by Minato, holding a two-point lead with under 13 minutes to play. Army’s lead ballooned to 10 with 8:49 left on the clock as sophomore Brianna Johnson sparked a 10-2 run.

After Schretzman maintained Army’s lead at 10, 50-40, with 6:49 remaining, the Black Knights’ offense went cold. The Buckeyes went on a 9-0 run, slimming down the Army advantage to one, 50-49, at the final media timeout. Playing with four fouls, senior Jen Hazlett made a clutch three-pointer with 3:42 remaining for Army’s first bucket in over three minutes to put the Black Knights back up by two possessions.

Minato sank a floater with 2:23 to play to extend Army’s lead to six, 55-49, in what was the Black Knights’ final field goal of the game. The Buckeyes responded with six unanswered points to tie the game, 55-55, with 1:19 remaining, capped by a pair free-throws after Army head coach Dave Magarity was called for a technical. Minato had attempted a three and was knocked to the ground hard which went uncalled, prompting an aggressive argument by Magarity.

Sophomore Aimee Oertner gave Army a one-point lead with 56 seconds remaining by making one-of-two free-throws. After OSU’s Ameryst Alston, the Buckeye’s leading scorer, sank a pair of free-throws to put Ohio State up one with 31 seconds, Army called its final timeout of the game.

With a .5-second differential on the shot clock, Minato took it to the hoop with nine seconds remaining and missed. OSU’s Martina Ellerbe grabbed the rebound and Johnson immediately fouled her with five seconds remaining. Ellerbe sank both free-throws to give the Buckeyes a three-point lead. Minato was covered closely on the inbounds and Schretzman got the ball 10 feet inside the half-court line on Army’s side, but was whistled for a travel before she could get her game-tying shot off.

Schretzman finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Minato added eight rebounds to her game-high 27 points. Hazlett led Army’s rebounding corps with a team-high nine boards as the Black Knights won the battle of the boards, 37-36, despite being outsized.

Army’s game at Ohio State marks its final Division I opponent of the nonconference season. The Black Knights will take two weeks off for term-end exams (TEEs) and the holidays before wrapping up the non-league portion of its schedule against Division III squad Staten Island. Tipoff on Dec. 29 at Christl Arena is set for 1 p.m.

NOTES: Army falls to 0-3 this season when shooting below 35 percent from the floor … the Black Knights shot 33.9 percent at Ohio State … Army falls to 0-3 against Ohio State but reduced its margin of defeat in the series from 35 ppg to 24.3 … the Buckeyes have never lost to a Patriot League opponent … Army went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line for its second-highest percentage of the season (.833) … Army’s 26 attempts from three are a season high … this was Army’s first loss of the season when holding the lead with five minutes remaining.

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