COLUMBUS, Ohio - Kelsey Mitchell became the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer (male or female) Saturday afternoon in Ohio State's 78-62 win over visiting Michigan State.
The 2014 Princeton City School District graduate finished with a game-high 23 points. Mitchell has 3,098 career points which is seventh all-time in NCAA history.
Mitchell said after the game she was grateful her family could be in Columbus for the game.
“They know what I’ve been through in regards to overcoming the obstacles and struggles to get better at this sport, so I’m glad they got a chance to see me play," she said. "Having them in my corner…it’s something that every athlete would be grateful for, just having someone there for you whenever you need them.”
Mitchell passed Minnesota’s Rachel Banham (3,093 points) Saturday to set the Big Ten record.
“I didn’t even know about the record," Mitchell said. "I just knew that Rachel Banham had a lot more points than me. To be a part of that conversation is something wonderful, and I want to thank everyone for congratulating me and for all their support.”
Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said Mitchell was just too much to handle on the court. Mitchell also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals on Saturday for Ohio State (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten).
“I think what makes Kelsey so special is two things," Merchant said. "One, her work ethic is exceptional. She isn’t good by accident. A lot of kids want to be good but they don’t want to pay the price to be good. That kid has always been that way. She is passionate about her craft and she does the work it takes to be great. Second, she is probably the most humble kid I have been around for the success she has.”
Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said he doesn't keep track of Mitchell's milestones and she doesn't either.
"Like her, I am focused on the team," McGuff said. "However, when these accolades come up, it’s amazing. To think about all that she has accomplished and all that she can still accomplish. She’s into winning and that is what she’s about and that’s what makes her such a special player.”
Mitchell, a member of the USA Basketball Under-23 National Team last summer, was a McDonald's All-American at Princeton and led the Lady Vikings to the Division I state title in March 2014.