Last second shot sinks Buckeyes

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Last updated: 02/10/2012 0:32 AM
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Women's Basketball
Game-winning shot in final seconds hands Buckeyes third loss of season
By Ben Axelrod

On Monday night, Ohio State women’s basketball coach Jim Foster said that he would rather play an opponent who’s invested in the match-up than one who’s not.

After Thursday night, he may be re-thinking that philosophy.

Alexis Burke hit a jump shot with two seconds remaining to hand the No. 10 Buckeyes (21-3, 8-3) their third defeat of the season- a 66-65 road loss at the hands of Illinois (9-16, 3-9).

Burke’s game-winning shot came moments after OSU’s Tayler Hill hit a jumper with 19 seconds remaining. The would-be game-winner gave the junior guard 20 points for the evening, but it wasn’t enough to hold off an Illinois team that trailed by as many as 12 points in the second-half after it surrendered a lead of its own.

The Fighting Illini jumped out to a 34-29 halftime lead as the Buckeyes managed to offset an off shooting half from Hill and Samantha Prahalis with a 12-point first half effort  from sophomore center Ashley Adams.

The OSU guards would go on to find their respective strokes in the second half, with Prahalis sinking a 3-point shot to give the Buckeyes a 41-40 lead with 14 minutes remaining moments before Hill converted three consecutive 3-point attempts the stretch the OSU advantage to six. Hill, Adams, and Prahalis then combined for six more points to help cap off the 18-6 run that gave the Buckeyes a 12-point lead- their largest of the night.

That wasn’t enough, however. OSU went cold from the field- missing its next four shots and committing three turnovers. The Illini capitalized on the Buckeyes’ mistakes, going on a 12-0 run to tie the score at 56 with just over four minutes remaining in the game.

Prahalis went on the score six points in less than two minutes to give the Buckeyes a a 63-58 advantage with 2:29 remaining in the game, but Illinois’ Adrienne Godbold scored four-consecutive points to bring the Illini within one with less than a minute remaining.

After Prahalis missed a jump shot, Lydia McCully converted on two free throws to give the Illini a one-point lead with 39 seconds remaining. Hill’s ensuing jumper looked like it would be enough for the Buckeyes to escape Champaign with a victory, but it was Burke who had the last laugh, sinking the game-winning shot to send OSU home with a loss and a full-game out of first place in the Big Ten.

Despite their loss, however, the Buckeyes have the opportunity to jump back to the top of the conference standings on Sunday, when they’ll host Big Ten-leading No. 19 Purdue (19-5, 9-2) at Value City Arena for a 5 p.m. tip.

Box Score

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