NCAA.com Team of the Week, the Ohio State Buckeyes are off to the best start to a season in school history at 18-0, and on Monday moved up the No. 2 position in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll behind South Carolina, its best ranking since the final poll of 2006 when they were also ranked second overall. Ohio State has never been No. 1.
The Buckeyes' undefeated season was put to the test at home on Jan. 10, when they overcame a 17-point third quarter deficit to defeat Illinois, 87-81. It was the biggest second-half comeback in program history. Buckeye standout Taylor Mikesell led all players with a season-high 31 points on 11-of-22 (.500) shooting, including going 7-of-14 (.500) from long range. Cotie McMahon recorded her sixth 20-point game of the season, finishing with 22 points. Hevynne Bristow led the Buckeyes on the boards by tying her career-high eight rebounds.
On Jan. 14, the Buckeyes led from start to finish in a 76-67 win at Nebraska. Rebeka Mikulášiková (25) and Mikesell (14) led the Ohio State offense, each reaching double figures in the first half. Taylor Thierry (13) also reached double figures on 6-of-6 shooting, including six points in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes shot better than 50 percent as a team both from the floor and beyond the arc.
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With the two wins last week, Ohio State improved to 7-0 in Big Ten Conference play. Ohio State has four ranked wins on the season so far, the most for the Buckeyes since the 2019-20 season. Ohio State began the season with an 87-75 win against then No. 5 Tennessee before beating then-No. 18 Louisville on the road 96-77 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 30. The Buckeyes beat then-No. 16 Oregon by an 84-67 mark at the San Diego Invitational in December and rounded out 2022 with a 66-57 win against then-No. 14 Michigan.
Ohio State next hosts Northwestern on Thursday, Jan. 19.