The No. 11 Ohio State women’s basketball team (23-3, 10-3 Big Ten) defeated the Indiana Hoosiers (5-21, 0-13 Big Ten) with a 75-54 victory Thursday night.
Without senior guard Samantha Prahalis in the starting lineup due to an illness, OSU jumped out to an early 20-6 lead at 12:05 in the first half. At the end of the half, the Buckeyes led 34-27. OSU was shooting 52 percent going into the locker room, with the Hoosiers completing 32 percent of their shots.
Without Prahalis in the lineup, OSU made adjustments throughout the game to keep up the offensive attack.
“Instead reversing the ball, we had some people trying to make the plays, trying to be a Sam, but if we just made the simples plays, the layups and the open shots will come,” said junior guard Tayler Hill.
Those shots came in the second half with a 12-2 run to put OSU ahead 51-36 with 11:30 in the game. The run included two fast-break layups from redshirt junior guard Amber Stokes and freshman guard Raven Ferguson. At 8:56, senior guard Tayler Hill sank a three-point shot to give the Buckeyes a 22-point lead. OSU would increase the lead to 27 after freshman forward Kalpana Beach hit a layup.
OSU also had some help from down under, with 42 of their 75 points coming from inside the paint.
“Beach was terrific,” said coach Jim Foster. “In fact, the post players in mass: Sasha [Dobranic], Martina [Ellerbe], Emilee [Harmon] and Darryce [Moore] did good things.”
The Buckeyes had nine players contribute in the scoring effort, with Hill leading the way with 27 points, including three shots from behind the arc in the second half. Hill was followed by Stokes, who had 14 and seven assists, while Beach dropped 13.
“I think there was an understanding of what it was we wanted to do,” Foster said. “In a situation where you don’t get to prepare and you have people stepping up and understanding where their opportunities were is a good sign.”
Throughout the course of the game, the Buckeyes continued to improve their field goal percentage. The Buckeyes were 18-31 from the field in the second half, and 32-58 for the entire game.
“When we reverse the ball like we did today, it is hard to guard us,” said Hill. “It really increases our number of high percentage shots.”
Junior forward Aulani Sinclair led the Hoosiers with 23 points, which included four from three-point range.
Tonight’s victory is the second time the Buckeyes have defeated the Hoosiers. On Jan. 26, OSU won, 73-55.
OSU returns to action Monday at Penn State to face the No. 12 Nittany Lions (21-5, 11-3 Big Ten). Penn State defeated the No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers (19-7, 9-4 Big Ten) Thursday night, 74-63. Monday’s game is another matchup that could determine who holds the top spot in the Big Ten. Tip is set for 7 p.m.