MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The takeover of any major college basketball program is already a big job. Ben Johnson’s start at Minnesota was tasked with the most basic need: players. Only two Gophers decided to return from the previous season. The perfect storm of roster turnover was created by the coaching change and the frenzy of the NCAA transfer portal. Recruiting personality was the top priority for Johnson and his assistants. They clearly found a group that gets along. The Gophers are undefeated entering their Big Ten opener against 19th-ranked Michigan State.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State hopes to shore up its defense by hiring Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day announced Tuesday that Knowles will take over as defensive coordinator on Jan. 2, a day after the Rose Bowl game. The current coaching staff will stay intact until then. The 56-year-old Knowles was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which recognizes the nation’s top assistant coach. The Cowboys finished as the third best in the country in total defense (278.4 yards per game) and in the top 10 in several defensive categories.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jacy Sheldon scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half and No. 20 Ohio State jumped out early and cruised to a 94-50 victory over Mount St. Mary’s. Ohio State (7-1) has won consecutive games since its eight-point loss at Syracuse on Dec. 1. Taylor Mikesell added 15 points for the Buckeyes. Gabby Hutcherson, Rebeka Mikulasikova and Tanaya Beacham each had 13. Ohio State used a 25-7 first quarter to build a 51-22 lead at the break. Michaela Harrison and Aryna Taylor finished with eight points apiece for Mount St. Mary’s (1-6).
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