Ohio State senior guard Tayler Hill dominated the court Monday night during the Buckeyes' 65-60 nonconference win at Gonzaga. It was the first meeting between the teams. Ohio State improved to 7-3 and dropped GU to 9-3, with every loss against a ranked team or one that was just ranked (Ohio State). Read more
Hill said the Buckeyes' trip to the Northwest had its big ups and downs.
"We weren't ready at all for Washington State," she said. "We weren't mentally ready. We came out with a lack of energy. But our coaches did an excellent job of going over film to make sure we were back on track to where we need to be."
Graves, who watched the WSU-Ohio State game on tape, agreed.
"(Ohio State) looked a lot more lethargic on Saturday night than they did tonight," he said.
The first part of Monday's game looked like an extension of the WSU game, as the Buckeyes fell behind by nine points.
Hill said she sensed the Buckeyes toughening up as the game went on.
"We just had to stay together as a team, stay tough and just play our game," she said.
Graves altered between praise and frustration with his Bulldogs.
"It's still a loss and these kind of things matter," Graves said. "(But) I was proud of our team, I really was. I thought we played hard."
Graves said a key moment came when Ohio State's Amber Stokes, who hadn't attempted a 3-pointer all season, hit a 3 with 2:48 left to snap a 54-all tie. (By the way, my game story should have noted this late tie. My apologies.)
"Now we have some things to show the kids," Graves said. "Look, if we had just done this, this and this, we win the game. So, lesson learned."
Graves said he couldn't get over Gonzaga's 7-for-18 shooting at the line.
"That ridiculous," he said. "(But) I was excited we got there 18 times. That shows we're being aggressive. That's something that's been an issue with us.
"Those are missed opportunities. We had a chance to win that game. One play here, one play there and it's a different outcome."
Graves knows these things are going to happen, given a roster of five freshmen and four sophomores.
"The sad thing is, we'll never get that game back," he said. "That's what I'm trying to impress on these young kids. You can't throw away possessions or throw away games. We'll never get this game back. That's what's disappointing.
No Bulldogs player had more than four points at halftime, but season scoring leader Haiden Palmer (13 points), Taelor Karr (11) and Sunny Greinacher (10) all finished in double figures. Freshman Shelby Cheslek had eight rebounds in just 18 minutes.