Buckeyes blown out as Penn State clinches share of title
The No. 8 Ohio State women’s basketball team (23-4, 10-4) can still win its seventh Big Ten regular season championship in the past eight years. But after their worst performance of the 2011-12 season on Monday night, the Buckeyes will have to settle for a shared championship.
With each of its five starters reaching double-digits in scoring, No. 11 Penn State (22-5, 12-3) transferred a late first half run into a 84-66 blowout victory over OSU, subsequently giving the Lady Lions a share of their first conference title since 2004.
The first 13 minutes of the battle between the Big Ten’s top two teams had all of the makings of a classic with OSU guard Tayler Hill hitting a 3-point shot to bring the Buckeyes within four points of the PSU lead with seven minutes remaining in the game. It would be as close as the Buckeyes would get for the rest of the night.
Thanks to a combined 15 points from Nikki Greene and Maggie Lucas, the Lady Lions closed out the first half on a 17-6 run to take a 45-30 lead into intermission.
Greene scored a game-high 25 points, 16 of which were scored in the first half. The 6-foot-4 center also pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds and took advantage of a depleted OSU frontline that saw forward Kalpana Beach pick up her third personal foul just moments into the second half.
One game after matching a career-high 13 points in OSU’s win over Indiana, Beach scored 12 points against the Nittany Lions, but her absence early in the second half played a role in the Buckeyes falling behind by 20 points in the first six minutes after halftime. A pair of Samantha Prahalis free throws with 9:28 remaining in the game brought the Buckeyes to within 15 points of the Lady Lions- the closest they’d find themselves for the remainder of the game.
Prahalis and Hill each scored 16 points for the Buckeyes with Prahalis adding eight assists to the OSU effort. That wasn’t enough, however, to match a Penn State effort that saw the Lady Lions’ starting line-up score a combined 77 points, including 18 from forward Mia Nickson.
The 18-point margin of defeat was the largest for the Buckeyes this season, and as was the case with OSU’s three previous losses, it came on the road. Yet despite all that went wrong on Monday, the Buckeyes still have a chance at finding themselves with a share of the conference title next week. Doing so would require the Lady Lions to drop their season finale to Minnesota on Sunday and for the Buckeyes to win their two remaining games: a Thursday match-up with the Golden Gophers and a Sunday afternoon game at Nebraska.
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.