The Ohio State women's basketball team poses in the locker room with the Big Ten championship trophy. (Photo courtesy Ohio State Athletics Communications)

Ohio State rocks Rutgers to win 15th Big Ten women’s basketball title, clinch No. 1 seed in tournament

Ohio State clinched its record 15th Big Ten women’s basketball championship Sunday with a 73-45 win at Rutgers.

The 12th-ranked Buckeyes ended a six-year title drought.

Coach Kevin McGuff’s team was in position to claim the championship last year, but let the Buckeyes let it slip through their fingers with two late-season road losses.

Not this time. 

Ohio State took control of the game in Piscataway with an early 10-0 run after Rutgers scored the game’s first basket, and the Buckeyes never looked back.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 21 points to lead the victors. Shayla Cooper had 12 and Sierra Calhoun added 10. 

Fairmont grad Makayla Waterman added two points and two rebounds for the Buckeyes. 

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Ohio State heads into the postseason having won 11 in a row, including a 98-87 triumph over then-No. 2 Maryland last Monday night that pulled the Buckeyes into a first-place tie with the Terps. 

Maryland crushed Minnesota earlier Sunday to clinch a share of its third Big Ten title in as many years as a league member, but the Buckeyes get the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament thanks to their head-to-head win.

That begins Wednesday in Indianapolis. 

Ohio State will play at noon Friday against the winner of the game between the No. 8 and 9 seeds. 

The Buckeyes will be looking for their first tournament title under McGuff, a Badin High School grad in his fourth season at the helm in Columbus.