SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rebeka Mikulasikova scored 27 points, Taylor Mikesell added 25 and No. 3 Ohio State remained undefeated with an 84-67 victory over 16th-ranked Oregon on Wednesday to win the San Diego Invitational.
“I thought we played really well, especially in the second half when it counted the most,” Buckeyes coach Kevin McGuff said. “Our ball movement was excellent and our shooting improved as the game went on. Oregon’s a really good, talented team, and they’re going to grow into something special.”
Ohio State (13-0, 2-0 in the Big Ten) is off to its best start since 2011-2012, when the Buckeyes won their first 15 games.
“This was a successful trip for us out to California and I’m proud of the way we played the past two days,” McGuff said. “We were resilient when we had to be.”
Oregon (10-2) was led by forward Grace VanSlooten, who scored 29 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Freshman teammate Te-Hina Paopao, who grew up just outside San Diego in Oceanside, California, added 17.
The Buckeyes took control with a 29-14 second quarter and their largest lead was 20 with less than six minutes left in the third. But the Ducks chipped away, narrowing it to 59-49 at the end of the period.
Mikesell had 17 points in the first half and Ohio State went into the break up 54-37.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the first games I looked at on the schedule,” Mikesell said. “We had to take care of business last night and we did that through some adversity.
“At the end of the day, we still have to win. We maintained our composure and finished strong. We gave them some looks, but we still had to finish it out.”
In the event’s third-place game, South Florida held off No. 17 Arkansas 66-65 in overtime.
Oregon takes on UCLA in its Pac-12 opener Dec. 30.
Ohio State plays next Wednesday at Northwestern.