Before the Ohio State women's basketball team even tipped against Michigan State in the Big Ten semifinals, the Buckeyes were already in trouble.
Senior guard and Ohio State's fourth career all time leading scorer Ameryst Alston was limited to just 10 minutes of action with a sprained wrist as the Buckeyes were blown out of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 82-63 on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes, who still elected to start Alston despite her injury, trailed early and dug themselves a 44-20 hole at halftime and could never recover. Alston was held scoreless for the first time in a game since her freshman year, where she failed to score in two games.
One day after recording a women's Big Ten tournament record 43 points in a win over Rutgers in the quarterfinals, Kelsey Mitchell finished with 20 points in the loss to the Spartans, 10 of which came from the free throw line. She poured in a school record 48 in a triple-overtime loss to Michigan State exactly a week earlier. Shayla Cooper was the only other Buckeye in double figures as she finished with 16.
The No. 2 seed Buckeyes trailed by just six after the first quarter, but the Spartans blitzed Ohio State in the second frame 26-8 and never looked back, holding OSU to just 32.8 percent shooting from the floor in the game and pushing the lead to 72-36 after three quarters.
Despite the poor performance, it wasn't Ohio State's worst loss of the season as the Buckeyes lost 100-56 to UConn in the second game of the season.
Spartan forward Aerial Powers led all scorers with 31 points, while guard Tori Jankoska added 23 in the blowout victory.
Michigan State is set to face No. 1 seed and Big Ten regular season champion Maryland in the conference title game tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Ohio State, which lost a chance to win the Big Ten outright by losing its final two regular season games now limps into the NCAA Tournament losing three of four for the first time this season. The Buckeyes current senior class will leave Columbus without a Big Ten regular season or tournament title.