Huskers blow by Buckeyes in regular season finale
Already locked into the No. 2 seed for the Big Ten Tournament and no longer able to win a share of a conference title, the No. 8 Ohio State women’s basketball team (24-5, 11-5) didn’t have much to play for in its regular season finale on Sunday, and it showed.
With little on the line, the Buckeyes looked like a team that was more focused on next weekend’s Big Ten Tournament as it suffered a 71-57 road loss to No. 23 Nebraska (21-7, 10-6).
The Huskers were led by freshman Emily Cady, who scored 24 points against an OSU team that used six different defenders on her, yet never found an answer for the 6-foot-2 forward. Half of those points came in the first half, where Nebraska used a 21-6 run that lasted over the course of 10 minutes to separate itself from the Buckeyes and take a 39-29 advantage into intermission.
The second half wasn’t much kinder to OSU, who never managed to cut the Huskers’ lead to fewer than eight points, and fell behind by as many as 20 points with two minutes remaining in the game.
Less than 72 hours after her record-setting 42-point performance on her senior night, OSU guard Samantha Prahalis scored 18 points on 5-of-19 shooting, including a 2-of-10 performance from outside the 3-point arc. Prahalis’ backcourt running mate, junior guard Tayler Hill, also suffered from an off shooting night, scoring 16 points while converting just three of her 15 shot attempts. Hill did manage to pull down seven rebounds and record four steals, but she also committed six turnovers.
But if ever there was a game for OSU’s top two scorers to combine for 8-of-34 shooting, this was it. Earlier in the day, Penn State had beaten Minnesota to win the Big Ten regular season championship outright and Thursday’s win over Minnesota ensured that that the Buckeyes would be no better or worse than the No. 2 seed in next weekend’s conference tournament.
That seeding will give the Buckeyes, who’ve won the past three Big Ten tournament titles, a first round bye in this year’s tournament. They will face the winner of Thursday’s match-up between Michigan and Illinois on Friday at 11:30 AM.
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