Buckeyes Sink Sooners 69-63 to Move to 7-0 on the Season
By Tony Gerdeman
Ohio State's three-guard lineup of Tayler Hill, Samantha Prahalis and Amber Stokes combined to score 51 points on 19-30 shooting from the field in the #17 Buckeyes' (7-0) 69-63 win over the #18 Sooners (3-2) on Sunday.
They were also instrumental on defense, helping to hold the Sooners' own three guards to just 16-40 shooting from the field, including 4-16 from three-point land.
Hill, the Big Ten's leading scorer who was averaging 21.5 points per game coming into this one, was the only Buckeye to play all 40 minutes. She scored 20 points and connected on all four of her free throw attempts in the final fifteen seconds of the game, keeping the Sooners at arm's length and securing the win for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes started the game well, jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the first 90 seconds thanks to a three-pointer from Hill, a jumper from Ashley Adams, and consecutive layups from Prahalis and Stokes. It was a lead that they would never relinquish.
A Prahalis three-pointer, followed by a couple more Stokes layups over the next few minutes opened Ohio State's largest lead of the game at 23-10. Oklahoma would spend the rest of the afternoon trying to overcome this initial deficit.
A layup from Nicole Griffin cut the Buckeye lead to just four points, but Stokes once again answered back by taking the ball to the basket and dropping in yet another layup.
Ohio State extended their first-half lead to eleven points at 41-30 before Morgan Hook hit a three-pointer with 29 seconds remaining in the half. The Buckeyes happily took their eight-point lead to the half, however.
Oklahoma eventually cut the deficit to three points when Aaryn Ellenberg hit a three-pointer with 12:56 remaining, but Tayler Hill answered on the next possession with a three-pointer of her own.
One minute later the Sooners cut the lead to four points. Hill again promptly answered with another basket, a layup to push the lead back up to six points.
A jumper from Ellenberg dropped the Ohio State lead all the way to one point with 5:55, though Prahalis got it back up to three points with a jumper of her own 27 seconds later.
Oklahoma again cut the lead to one point on their next possession, but the scoring then stopped for almost three minutes before an Ashley Adams jumper built the lead back up to three with 2:23 to play.
Prahalis then added another basket on Ohio State's next possession to make it 63-58 with 1:34 to play.
A jumper for Hook made it 65-60 with 16 seconds to play and Hill was fouled immediately on the inbounds. She sank both free throws, and then added two more nine seconds later following another Sooner basket. Her last two free throws made it 69-63, which is where the final score stood when the scoreboard clock hit all zeroes.
Ohio State shot 27-54 (50%) from the field and held the Sooners to just 42.6% shooting on 26-61 from the field.
After committing eleven turnovers in the first half, the Buckeyes took much better care of the ball in the second half, and according to coach Jim Foster who spoke to 1460 The Fan after the game, that was partly Oklahoma's doing.
"In the second half they went to more zone and we obviously got some good shots and good looks at the basket when we needed to, and we were less likely to turn the ball over," he said.
"That's not a zone team. It's not a team that's comfortable in the zone, and if you're patient you're going to get a good shot, and when we were patient, we did."
While the Buckeye guards were the story of the game as Hill scored 20 points, Prahalis scored 19, and Stokes added 12, it was a total team effort with everybody playing their part.
"That's what makes for a good basketball team--people willing to do the little things, and do them well," said Foster.
Center Ashley Adams added eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals to her twelve points. Ten different Buckeyes played, and each of them pulled down at least one rebound.
The Buckeyes will be off for the next week due to finals, but will be hitting the court again on Saturday December 10 against Canisius at 12:00 pm.
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