Hoosiers No Match for OSU Women's Cagers

The Ohio State women's basketball team remained unbeaten in Big Ten play and won for the 11th straight time by downing visiting Indiana 81-64 at Value City Arena on Sunday. Samantha Prahalis scored 23 points to lead the way in head coach Jim Foster's 200th win at Ohio State.

No. 5 Ohio State never trailed en route to an 81-64 defeat of Indiana on Sunday afternoon.

The Buckeyes (19-1, 7-0) scored the first eight points of the contest and rarely had a lead of less than two possessions the rest of the way as a season-high 6,016 fans watched in delight at Value City Arena.

Sarah Schulze grabbed three offensive rebounds in the first two minutes, cashing the last one in with a layup and a foul that she turned into a three-point play that started the scoring. The next time down the floor, she connected from beyond the three-point arc to give the Buckeyes a quick 6-0 advantage.

That stretched to 8-0 after a Jantel Lavender layup that prompted Indiana head coach Felisha Legette-Jack to call timeout after only 3:02 had been played.

The break helped the Hoosiers (10-8, 3-4) steady themselves, but they fell behind by double digits on two occasions over the following 10 minutes.

Samantha Prahalis scored five in a row to give Ohio State its largest first-half lead, 23-12 with 8:11 to go, at which point it looked like the Buckeye would run away with it, but the Hoosiers hung tough and trailed by only five when the first half came to a close.

Ohio State took a 31-26 lead into the locker room at the break and had the free-throw line to thank.

The Buckeyes made 8 of 9 freebies while Indiana was just 3 for 5 from the charity stripe.

Indiana forced 12 turnovers and turned those miscues into 11 points, and the Hoosiers managed to outscore their hosts 8-7 on second-chance points despite being outrebounded 24-15 overall in the opening 20 minutes.

Ohio State totaled eight offensive boards but turned them into just seven points while Indiana grabbed four of its own misses and converted them into eight points.

Both teams shot 10 for 28 (35.7 percent) from the field and made 3 of 9 (33.3 percent) three-point attempts in the first half as both teams played zone defense predominantly.

To open the second half, the Hoosier zone defense was of little consequence as Indiana took two bad shots that led to Ohio State fast breaks then committed a turnover that led to a third.

Prahalis missed a layup on the first opportunity but Tayler Hill rebounded the miss, drew a shooting foul and split a pair of free throws.

Lavender capped the second break with a layup off a long pass from Prahalis, then the Buckeyes' center returned the favor by swiping an errant pass and hitting Prahalis for a runout that prompted Legette-Jack to call another timeout after just 66 seconds had been played in the second half and her team suddenly trailing by 10.

Indiana's last chance to make a game of it came when Hope Elam made a baseline jumper to pulled the Hoosiers within 51-44 with 11:00 on the clock, but that was as close as the visitors would get.

Ohio State responded with a 10-2 run started by a Shavelle Little three-point play and capped by a Schulze three-pointer. In between, Andrea Walker had a layup and Lavender made a 17-foot jumper while Elam hit another shot of her own.

The Buckeyes shot 51.3 percent in the second half, making 20 of 39 field goals, and head coach Jim Foster had a simple explanation why.

"We pushed the ball on a make or miss, just changed tempo," Foster said.

Ohio State scored all 10 of its fast-break points in the second half and outscored the Hoosiers 28-4 in the final 20 minutes.

"I liked our energy and I thought we got up and down the floor a lot better and did some better things in the second half. In the first half the tempo wasn't the kind of tempo we want to play."

Meanwhile, they kept up the defense, holding Indiana to 38.9 percent (14 for 36) from the floor after the game.

"I thought we did pretty well overall," said Prahalis, who led all scorers with 23 points. "We got a lot of rebounds. I think we did a lot of good stuff, but we did a lot of stuff we have to work on, too. I think we need to play at our tempo, regardless, and I think I got caught up lulling me into just walking the ball up at times."

Lavender added 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists but gave the fans and her team a scare when she came down on another player's foot and appeared to turn an ankle roughly four minutes into the second half. She stayed in the game until the next stoppage in play about a minute later then went to the locker room briefly to have her ankle re-taped. The All-American junior returned with 10:51 on the clock and played another eight minutes.

She was not made available for interviews after the game, and Foster said he had no update on her condition.

Jori Davis led Indiana with 17 points while Jamie Braun added 11.

The victory was the 704th of Foster's college coaching career and 200th at Ohio State, making him the second coach to win at least 200 games at three different schools, joining Rutgers mentor C. Vivian Stringer, who previously coached at Cheyney University and Iowa.

Foster is 200-48 at Ohio State after going 248-126 at St. Joseph's and 256-99 at Vanderbilt.

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