No. 13 Buckeye women edge Gophers 90-88 in Big Ten semis

Ohio State tips off against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals on March 3, 2018. Photo credit to @OhioState_WBB, Twitter

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Kelsey Mitchell scored 30 points, Stephanie Mavunga had 26 points, a Big Ten Conference Tournament record 21 rebounds and seven blocks, and No. 13 Ohio State used a late run to edge fourth-seeded Minnesota 90-88 in a semifinal game on Saturday.

The top-seeded Buckeyes didn’t secure a spot in the championship game until Carlie Wagner’s 12-foot jumper from the right of the lane bounced off the rim as time expired. Ohio State (26-6) faces second-seeded Maryland or third-seeded Nebraska for the title Sunday night.

A basket by Kenisha Bell gave the Golden Gophers (23-8) an 85-79 lead with 4:40 to play. Linnae Harper quickly answered with a jumper for the Buckeyes. Mitchell followed with a 3-point play to make it a one-point game and Ohio State took the lead on the 16th lead change with a basket by Alexa Hart at 2:40. Eventually a Hart free throw made it 90-85 with 14.1 seconds left.

Mavunga was dominant down the stretch. The Gophers missed seven straight shots and OSU had six blocks, four by Mavunga, in the last three minutes. She had back-to-back offensive rebounds to give OSU a 1½-minute possession into the final minute.

Gadiva Hubbard hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left, but after Ohio State’s Makayla Waterman missed two free throws, Wagner couldn’t tie it.

Bell finished with 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Wagner had 26 points and Hubbard scored 20. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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