COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Rebeka Mikulasikova scored 23 points and Cotie McMahon added 20 to lead No. 4 Ohio State past North Alabama 105-67 on Sunday.
The Buckeyes (6-0) shot 58.6% from the field as all five starters reached double figures in scoring.
North Alabama (3-3) trailed by eight points with less than eight minutes to go in the second quarter, but Ohio State extended its lead on an 11-0 run keyed by five points from Madison Greene.
The Buckeyes held a 59-37 lead at halftime and stretched it to as large as 39 with less than three minutes remaining.
“I think our pressure started to take a little bit of an effect,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “I thought we kind of sped them up and kind of took them out of what they were trying to do, and we were able to take some of the turnovers and missed shots and turn them into points on the other end.”
Greene finished with 15 points, Taylor Mikesell had 14 and Taylor Thierry had 13, plus five steals.
Ohio State shot above 60% in each of the first three quarters. Hevynne Bristow tied her career high with eight rebounds, helping the Buckeyes to a 37-28 advantage on the glass.
Skyler Gill led the Lions with 23 points and 12 rebounds. North Alabama shot 45.8% and turned the ball over 20 times.
“I was pleased with our composure,” North Alabama coach Missy Tiber said. “You don’t want to lose by 40, but I think with the exception of a couple little spurts they had, I thought we were competitive.”
MCMAHON MAKING AN IMPRESSION
Among three true freshmen on Ohio State’s roster, McMahon has started all six games this season.
A native of Centerville, Ohio, McMahon has averaged more than nine points per game so far. She shot 8-of-13 from the field and her 20 points marked a new career high.
“She was a little more locked in, so I thought it was a big step for her,” McGuff said. “Coming out of timeouts and stuff, just telling her little things, applying that to the game was a big step for her.”
PICKING THEIR POCKET
Ohio State forced 20 turnovers, which is its second-most takeaways made through the season’s first six games, and 13 steals.
Three Buckeyes swiped at least two steals while the team capitalized on 28 points following the turnovers.
“One thing we really talked about and scouted was how fast they get the ball out after a shot,” McMahon said. “That’s something that we had to adjust to coming into the game, and then first seeing it right away and then obviously coming out at halftime and actually really buckling down and having to adjust to it.”
North Alabama: The Lions shot below 35.1% from 3-point range for the third game in a row. They went 2 of 11 from beyond the arc in the third quarter and 5 of 19 in the second half.
Ohio State: All-conference guard and Buckeyes third-leading scorer Jacy Sheldon missed her second straight game. Sheldon, who leads Ohio State with 27 steals, wore a boot on her right foot while sitting on the bench as her team collected 13 steals.
“Still day to day,” McGuff said. “Cautiously optimistic, but we’ll have to see how the week goes.”
North Alabama: Hosts Fisk next Sunday.
Ohio State: Travels to No. 10 Louisville on Wednesday.