Historic women's basketball season continues at Ohio State


Junior guard Presley Hudson dribbles the ball during the basketball game against Louisiana State University on March 17 at St. John Arena. 

Central Michigan women’s basketball won the its first ever NCAA tournament game by upsetting No. 6 LSU, but now the team faces an even greater task. 

CMU takes on Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio in the tournament’s second round. 

The No. 3 Buckeyes will tip off against the No. 11 Chippewas at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in OSU’s hometown. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2. 

“I don’t want to diminish beating LSU, because it was a really nice win for us, but we have moved on,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “In today’s practice, we did the same as we did last weekend. It was very business-like.”

Like CMU, Ohio State (28-6, 13-3 Big Ten) won its conference regular season title and tournament championship, but the similarities between the teams go beyond just that. 

CMU (29-4, 17-1 MAC) boasts the Mid-American Conference’s Player of the Year in senior Tinara Moore, and Ohio State features the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year in senior Kelsey Mitchell. 

The Chippewas and Buckeyes are two of the top ten scoring offenses in the country averaging 82.5 points per game and 85.2 points per game, respectively. 

“Well I think we both like getting up and down the floor,” Guevara said. “We have five people that score in double figures. I think both teams like to score.”

Matchups To Watch

Tinara Moore vs. Stephanie Mavunga: 

Two 6-foot-3 forwards will have the pleasure of facing one another Monday evening. Both Moore and Mavunga were voted All-Conference First Team in the MAC and Big Ten, respectively. 

Mavunga averages 16.5 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game, while Moore averages 18.9 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. 

“I see it as a good matchup. (Mavunga) is pretty athletic, but I’m ready to play,” Moore said. 

Presley Hudson vs. Kelsey Mitchell:

Hudson and Mitchell were also voted to their conference’s First Team. Mitchell, a 5-foot-8 guard, averages 24.5 points and 4.1 assists per game. Hudson, a 5-foot-6 guard, averages 18.1 points and 5.3 assists per game. 

Both players are also efficient scorers shooting over 40 percent from both the field and beyond the three-point arc. 

“It just shows what kind of a player she is,” Hudson said.  “She can go off and make a lot of shots, or she can get her teammates involved.”

Keys To Success 

Ohio State: Force Turnovers 

Ohio State leads the Big Ten in turnover margin at +5.2 and rank fifth with 8.5 steals per game. CMU, on the other hand, has struggled to take care of the basketball this season with a turnover margin of -2.94 —No. 11 in the MAC. 

“I do think the lineup we have been playing as of late is a little better defensively with its length and rebounding ability,” said Ohio State Head Coach Kevin McGuff. “We’ve settled in and worked on half-court defense more. It’s not easy to get better as the season goes, but I think we have done that.”

Central Michigan: Win the Rebounding Battle 

Despite having three-players standing at 6-feet or taller, the Buckeyes only had a rebounding margin of +1. CMU led the MAC in rebounding margin at +7.4 and boasted the conference’s top two rebounders in Moore and junior Reyna Frost. 

“It’s going to be a bottom line of who controls the boards,” Guevara said. “If you want to stop transition, you have to get the rebound. Our ability to go after the ball, box out, and get out and go."