EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Freshman Cotie McMahon scored 24 points, and No. 3 Ohio State pounded Northwestern 81-48 on Wednesday night.
The Buckeyes (14-0, 3-0 Big Ten) led 35-24 at halftime. They pushed their lead to 20 after hitting five of six shots over the last five minutes of the third quarter, including a pair of 3s from Taylor Mikesell.
Taylor Thierry had 18 points for Ohio State, and Mikesell finished with 16. The Buckeyes turned 21 Wildcats turnovers into 22 points.
“We thought pushing in transition would be our best bet for the game, and it honestly worked really well for all of us, not just me,” McMahon said.
Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff liked how his team played without veteran guard Madison Greene (knee) and second-leading scorer Jacy Sheldon (foot), but saw room for improvement after his team committed 17 turnovers.
Greene suffered a season-ending injury for the second year in a row.
“She’s a great player, a great point guard, a great leader,” McGuff said. “She’s our best perimeter defender as well. That’s a huge loss for us, and I hate it for her mostly because she worked so incredibly hard to get back and was playing so well.”
Jillian Brown led Northwestern (6-6, 0-2) with 13 points. Fellow reserve Courtney Shaw had 12 points and 11 rebounds in her third double-double of the season.
“It’s kind of been our mantra here at Northwestern that we don’t get outworked or outhustled,” Wildcats coach Joe McKeown said. “Ohio State beat us to a lot of balls tonight.”
McMahon went 10 of 15 from the field. She has scored at least 20 points in five games this season.
Northwestern shot 27.4% for the game.
“We can’t afford the lapses we have defensively and in terms of our intensity on the court,” Shaw said.
Ohio State: Despite rolling to another victory, the Buckeyes looked noticeably less dangerous from long distance without Greene, who got hurt during an overtime win over South Florida last week. Greene was averaging 10.9 points per game and leads the team with a 56% mark from 3-point range. Still, the Buckeyes should be able to adjust over time with their offensive options.
Northwestern: The Wildcats look a lot different than last year’s NCAA Tournament team, but should be well prepared for the Big Ten after trudging through a brutal nonconference schedule and games against Michigan and Ohio State to start league play.
Ohio State: Hosts No. 14 Michigan on Saturday.
Northwestern: Michigan State visits Monday as both teams look to notch their first Big Ten win.