OSU women playing like champions again


By Jim Massie

The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS

The calendar cut one more game from the Ohio State women’s basketball schedule on Thursday night but caused no panic.

And while the Buckeyes can’t add a seventh consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship to their resume, they did show growing signs of life while dismantling Penn State 89-67 in front of 3,467 fans in Value City Arena.

A two-month slump placed one item beyond the team’s control. Michigan State mathematically eliminated Ohio State (16-9, 7-6) from contention with its 11th conference win.

Yet by handily defeating the second-place and No. 23 Lady Lions (21-7, 10-4), the Buckeyes ran a modest winning streak to three games and served notice to at least one person that they are dangerous again.

“This is a team that has won,” Penn State coach Coquese Washington said of the Buckeyes. “They’re used to winning.”

It helped that three-time Big Ten player of the year Jantel Lavender put together a 23-point, 11-rebound game. Point guard Samantha Prahalis also had a huge game with 21 points and 11 assists.

Prahalis broke Jamie Lewis’ assist record of 643. She now has 647.

Tayler Hill matched her career high with 19 points and was instrumental in holding Penn State’s Alex Bentley to four points, 17 fewer than she scored on Jan. 30 when the Lady Lions thumped the Buckeyes 80-71.

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