- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Even an off night for Kelsey Mitchell wasn’t enough to slow Ohio State.

The seventh-ranked Buckeyes routed Wisconsin 87-61 on Thursday night. Mitchell, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, finished with 16, but 11 came in the fourth quarter when Ohio State had a commanding lead.

Ameryst Alston scored 21 points to lead five Buckeyes (18-4, 10-1) in double figures. Shayla Cooper scored 16 points off the bench while Alexa Hart had 12 and Asia Doss had 11.

“Other people got loose, and that’s what a good team does,” Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “When you take away the star player they certainly have others. This is a top 10 team. Others are very capable. They do a good job of getting it to those people. Alston stepped up. She’s a senior and she did that. A couple of others had some good games.”

Mitchell hit five of her season-low 10 field goal attempts in the final period and handed out three assists.

“They put a tremendous amount of attention on Kelsey so she did what great players do and what she does,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “She’s extremely unselfish so she made sure she facilitated and got people the ball and got other people involved and then other people stepped up.

“Shayla came off the bench and was really good. Asia had a great night. ‘Am’ was terrific. Alexa was extremely efficient like she always is so it’s a really good team win. We were able to share the ball and I think that’s when we’re at our best.”

Nicole Bauman led Wisconsin (6-15, 2-9) with 19 points while Cayla McMorris had 12. Michala Johnson added 10 points.

Ohio State extended its winning streak to seven games while the Badgers lost for the seventh time in a row.

The Buckeyes scored the last 11 points of the first quarter to turn a 12-8 deficit into a 19-12 lead. They had another 11-0 run early in the second quarter to open up a 30-14 advantage.

Bauman had the only basket for Wisconsin in that span while Cooper had 10 of Ohio State’s 22.

Five other Buckeyes contributed one basket apiece along the way.

Wisconsin got to within 46-33 by the half, but Ohio State scored 15 of the first 18 points in the third quarter to stretch the lead back to 25 points.

They led by as many as 31 before the night was over.

TIP-INS

Wisconsin: The Badgers are 1-9 since the beginning of the new calendar year.

Ohio State: With fellow Big Ten leader Maryland idle, the Buckeyes moved into a half-game lead for first place in the Big Ten standings. The fifth-ranked Terrapins play host to No. 17 Michigan State on Friday night.

WELCOME BACK

Cooper, who sat out the previous game in what McGuff termed a coach’s decision, also had 10 rebounds against Wisconsin for her sixth double-double of the season.

STATLINES

Wisconsin entered averaging only 12.1 turnovers per game in conference play. The Badgers surpassed that mark with more than 18 minutes left and finished with 16.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin host to Purdue on Monday night.

Ohio State plays host to No. 5 Maryland on Monday night.

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