Lantern file photo
The Ohio State women’s basketball team’s hope of winning a fourth straight Big Ten tournament championship came to an end Saturday in Indianapolis.
The No. 2 seed Buckeyes were defeated, 77-62, by the No. 6 seed Nebraska Cornhuskers in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. One game after breaking the conference’s career assists record, OSU senior guard Samantha Prahalis scored 23 points while adding one rebound and four more assists.
The Buckeyes (25-6, 11-6 Big Ten) will now wait to hear if they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
OSU started strong against the Cornhuskers after Prahalis hit a 3-pointer to give the Buckeyes a 24-11 lead, their largest of the half.
Nebraska would answer.
After the bucket, the Cornhuskers went on a tear, making seven straight shots including five 3-pointers. The run ended with 16 points for Nebraska and made the score, 27-24, at 2:23 in the first half.
After a technical foul on Prahalis, Nebraska junior guard Lindsey Moore hit both her foul shots before freshman guard Brandi Jeffery hit a jump shot to give Nebraska an eight point lead.
The Buckeyes answered with a Prahalis layup, but the Cornhuskers 25-6 run put Nebraska ahead 36-30 going into the locker room.
Nebraska kept the momentum going in the second half, as sophomore forward Jordan Hooper hit a 3-point shot to give the Cornhuskers a 14-point lead at 17:01 in the game.
OSU never regained the lead as the Cornhuskers increased the deficit to 20 points with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
The loss is the second defeat to Nebraska in two weeks. The Cornhuskers defeated OSU, 71-57, in Lincoln, Neb., on February 26.
Nebraska was led by Hooper, with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Kaitlyn Burke, who contributed 20 points, followed.
The Cornhuskers will play the winner of the Purdue-Penn State game on Sunday in the Big Ten championship game. Tip is for 4 p.m.