Jacy Sheldon scores 23, Cotie McMahon adds 20 as No. 2 Ohio State routs Nebraska 80-47

Ohio State guard Rikki Harris (1) and forward Cotie McMahon, right, celebrate during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Nebraska, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jacy Sheldon had 23 points and Cotie McMahon added 20 points and 10 rebounds as No. 2 Ohio State pulled away early and raced to its 12th straight win, an 80-47 rout of Nebraska on Wednesday night.

The Buckeyes (22-3, 13-1 Big Ten) this week tied their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 in school history and sit atop the Big Ten standings with three regular-season games left, including a prime-time finale with Caitlin Clark and Iowa on March 3.

The then-No. 2 Hawkeyes were defeated by Nebraska last weekend, but the Huskers (16-9, 8-6) never got close to pulling off another signature win on Wednesday.

“I thought our effort was really good, right from the tip,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “With Nebraska coming off such a great win against Iowa, an emotional win, but also a game where they expended a lot of energy. I thought if we could get after them early, we could really impose our will on the game.”

Huskers leading Alexis Markowski (16.4 points per game) paced her team with just nine points, but the 6-foot-3 forward pulled down 16 rebounds. Callin Hake added seven points.

Nebraska led only once and that was early in the game. Ohio State’s 3-point shooters were 4 for 9 in the first half as the Buckeyes ran out to a 33-19 halftime lead. Ohio State ran the lead to 28 points after three quarters.

“I thought our team was confident and ready to handle the pressure, but we just got out here today and we were not,” Nebraska coach Amy Williams said. “We got rattled early and it led to not-very-confident ball-handling. And it looked to me like (the Ohio State) defense just picked things up a notch because they could smell the blood in the water.”

Sheldon — who was 5 for 8 from 3-point range — and McMahon both took a seat with about four minutes left as McGuff emptied the bench.

“I think the backbone of our game is our press and our defense,” Sheldon said. “And when it’s blowing, it leads to offense. It was a lot of fun tonight.”


Nebraska: With a season-high 30 turnovers leading to 29 Ohio State points, the Huskers could never get any traction.

Ohio State: Led by stars Sheldon and McMahon, who recorded her fifth double-double of the season, and deep with support players capable of having big games, the Buckeyes have their sights set on making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.


Nebraska: At Purdue on Saturday.

Ohio State: At Penn State on Feb. 22.


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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball