Prahalis Sets Career Mark as Buckeyes Roll
By Tony Gerdeman
Ohio State (16-9, 7-6) point guard
Samantha Prahalis scored 21 points and handed out 11 assists in
leading her team to an 89-67 win over #23 Penn State (21-7, 10-4).
During the game, Prahalis set a new school record for career assists
at 647, besting Jamie Lewis' old mark of 643.
Not to be outdone, her backcourt mate
Tayler Hill scored a career-high 19 points for the second consecutive
outing. And center Jantel Lavender scored a game-high 23 points
while pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. The Buckeyes'
three-headed monster went 22-39 from the field and scored 63 points.
The Nittany Lions came into Columbus
looking for a rare season sweep of the Buckeyes, but they had a
misstep very early on as point guard Alex Bentley picked up her
second foul just 3:42 into the game. When Bentley went to the bench
the Buckeyes were leading just 6-2.
Ohio State quickly took control of the
game offensively and defensively. Lavender scored nine points in
about six minutes, giving the Buckeyes a 21-11 lead halfway through
the first half. At that point Lady Lions coach Coquese Washington
had no choice but to bring Bentley back in and hope that she wouldn't
pick up her third personal.
The Buckeyes were pushing the ball at
every opportunity, but somehow they weren't forcing things. The
offense clicked very well, as evidenced by Samantha Prahalis' eight
first-half assists. And the defense was attacking from the opening
tip. Ohio State scored 14 first-half points off of turnovers, which
set the tone for the entire game.
“That was the difference in the game," said Washington regarding the amount of turnovers. "I think there were a lot of
unforced turnovers. We had some bad decisions and looseness with the
ball. That was uncalled for, many of them were live. We needed to take
care of the ball and we didn’t.”
The Buckeyes took a 45-31 lead into
halftime, which was quickly cut to 49-37 just two minutes into the
second half. Then, almost as quickly, Ohio State went on an 11-0 run
to put the game essentially out of reach. A basket by Lavender and
two free throws by Hill sandwiched seven straight points from
Prahalis during the 11-0 stretch.
The Lady Lions would get within ten
points a few times in the second half, but could never get the game
into single digits. The Buckeyes led 67-57 with 8:43 to play after a
layup by Penn State's Julia Trogele, but that was as close as they
would be for the rest of the game. From that point on, Ohio State
would close the game on a 22-10 run to easily outdistance the
nation's 23rd-ranked team.
“We’re getting better," said Buckeye coach Jim Foster. "We have a better understanding of who we are and
who we need to be to be a very good basketball team. I think our
intensity and focus on defense is better, our attention to detail is
better, our freshmen are now playing in a way that it would be difficult
to tell they are freshmen.”
The 89 points scored by the Buckeyes
was their third-highest total of the season, but their defensive
effort was just as stellar. Alex Bentley came into this game
averaging 14.8 points per game, but she was held to just four points
in 22 minutes, turning the ball over five times in the process.
Star freshman Maggie Lucas came into
the game scoring 16.7 points per game, but was held to just eight
points by various defenders. Penn State entered the contest leading
the conference in scoring, averaging 79.3 points per game. They were
held twelve points under their average.
The Buckeyes shot 24-28 from the free
throw line and 5-12 from behind the three-point line.
Up next for the Buckeyes is a trip to
West Lafayette for a double-header as the men's team plays at 1:00 pm
and the women play at 5:00 pm. Purdue is one-half game ahead of the
Buckeyes in the Big Ten standings.
• Ohio State dealt Penn State its worst loss of
the season with its 89-67 victory. The Buckeye defense also limited Lady
Lion leading scorer Maggie Lucas to just eight points on the night and
held Alex Bentley to just two points and three shot attempts. Lucas was
averaging 16.7 ppg.
• Ohio State
is 4-2 against ranked teams this season, defeating No. 9 Michigan State,
No. 11 Oklahoma, No. 18 Iowa and No. 23 Penn State, while falling to
No. 1 UConn and No. 21 Iowa on the road.
For just the second time this season, an Ohio State opponent shot 50
percent or better. UConn was exactly .500 from the field in Ohio State’s
• Ohio State forced a
season-high 27 turnovers vs. Penn State. During the Buckeyes’ past
three games they have forced their opponents to turn the ball over a
total of 65 times (22 vs. Purdue, 16 at Minnesota).
Ohio State has scored 70 or more points 15 times, at least 80 10 times
and has had two 90-point games in a 95-84 win over No. 11 Oklahoma and a
90-67 win over Purdue Feb. 10.
• Ohio State is 139-13 at home overall under Jim Foster and 112-9 since the start of 2004-05.
After surpassing Katie Smith as Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer at
Minnesota Feb. 13, Jantel Lavender added to her total with 23 points
vs. the Lady Lions, bringing her career total to 2,610 points.
• Lavender is the second-leading active scorer in the NCAA (2,610) behind UConn’s Maya Moore (2,796).
• Lavender also owns the NCAA record with 10 or more points in 127 consecutive games -- every game of her career.
• Scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 boards, Lavender recorded her 14th double-double of the season.
With 11 assists on the night, Samantha Prahalis broke Jamie Lewis’
school record of 643 career assists. Prahalis now has 647 assists for
• Prahalis also
recorded her fifth double-double of the season and second since
recording a triple-double Feb. 6 vs. Northwestern. Against Penn State,
Prahalis scored 21 points and dished out 11 assists.
• Tayler Hill tied her career high with 19 points. Hill was 6-for-9 from the field in 35 minutes of action.
• Hill has made 32 of her last 34 free throws and 14 straight.
Ohio State is 14-2 this season when scoring 70+ points and 2-7 when
scoring fewer. They went 25-0 last season when scoring 70 or more and
6-5 when scoring fewer.
State has made more free throws (410) than opponents have attempted
(393) this season. Ohio State is 14-3 this year and 83-9 since the start
of the 2007-08 season when they make more than its opponents at the
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.