WNBA

Taylor guides No. 5 Ohio State to an 86-71 rout over Michigan State

Taylor leads No. 5 Ohio State to a dominant 86-71 victory over Michigan State

Led by Celeste Taylor’s 20 points, No. 5 Ohio State cruised to an 86-71 victory over Michigan State on Sunday. Rebeka Mikulasikova contributed 19 points, Jacy Sheldon added 18, and Taylor Thierry scored 12 for the Buckeyes (21-3, 12-1 Big Ten), who dominated with a lead of up to 33 points in the second half.

Michigan State (17-7, 7-6) was led by Theryn Hallock’s 18 points and Julia Ayrault’s 10 points. The Spartans briefly took the lead once, but Ohio State quickly regained control with a three-pointer by Taylor and maintained their advantage for the rest of the game.

“Our offensive execution reached new heights, generating a lot of quality shots during that stretch,” praised Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff.

Ohio State established a commanding 53-31 lead at halftime and extended their dominance with an 8-1 run to begin the second half.

Michigan State coach Robin Fralick lamented her team’s performance, describing it as a “total stinker” and acknowledging Ohio State’s prowess. “I think they’re a very, very good team, very experienced, very talented,” she remarked. “Tonight was the most disconnected we’ve played on both ends of the court.”

Ohio State showcased efficiency, shooting 58% overall compared to Michigan State’s 43% from the floor. McGuff attributed their success to relentless pressure defense leading to turnovers and high-percentage shots.

The victory marked Ohio State’s 11th consecutive win and 12th in their last 13 games, while Michigan State suffered their second consecutive loss.

Reflecting on their improvement since their first encounter, McGuff highlighted the team’s progress, particularly Cotie McMahon’s enhanced performance and Celeste Taylor’s growing comfort within the system. “We’ve really improved significantly,” he noted, emphasizing their elevated level of play compared to earlier matchups.

BIG PICTURE

Ohio State remains undefeated in 2024, having notched victories since their last loss on December 30, a 69-60 defeat at the hands of Michigan.

Meanwhile, Michigan State, previously an honorable mention in the poll, is expected to fall out of contention entirely following two consecutive losses this week.

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