Sluggish Buckeyes falter in overtime
Published: Sunday, February 21, 2010
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
The Ohio State women's basketball team hung on to force overtime play, but lost to Michigan State 71-68 on Sunday.
Guard Samantha Prahalis had a quiet first half with only five points, but came alive to give the Buckeyes a burst of energy in the second half.
Prahalis drove to the basket and made a layup as she was fouled with 2:50 left in regulation to give OSU its first lead since 11:45 in the first half. The Bucks had trailed by as many as 13 just seven minutes earlier.
After a jumper by Spartan center Allyssa DeHaan, freshman guard Amber Stokes made a 3-pointer to give OSU a three-point lead.
Another Spartan score and a Prahalis free throw left OSU with a two-point lead with 17 seconds remaining.
The ball and the game were given to the Spartans' leading-performer Brittney Thomas, who nailed a running jump shot from 15 feet away to tie the game with 8 seconds left.
A close shot by Prahalis and even closer tip by forward Sarah Schulze did not go in, and the game headed to overtime.
OSU started the overtime with a 5-1 run but was surpassed by a Spartan 8-0 run that left OSU down by four.
Prahalis made a 3-point shot that brought that lead down to one, but with only 19 seconds left.
Thomas converted a pair of free throws, extending the Spartan lead to three.
Schulze then launched a 3-pointer that air-balled to the right of the basket and landed out-of-bounds.
The difference in the game was OSU's inability to make outside shots.
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 nationally in 3-point shooting percentage, but shot only 3-of-14 against MSU.
"[MSU] guarded the three well. It was difficult to get open for any shots today," Schulze said.
The Buckeyes also struggled from the free throw line, shooting 17-of-25. Prahalis was 4-of-11 on her own.
Center Jantel Lavender scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while single-handedly keeping OSU in the game for much of the afternoon.
Prahalis finished the game with 17 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Freshman Amber Stokes, who has seen the floor more often in recent games, played 16 minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds.
"Her ability to get the ball to the basket is something we need from the guard position," coach Jim Foster said. "We can't depend on one person to do that all the time."
This loss doesn't mean much for the Buckeyes, who have already clinched the Big Ten regular season crown and a bye in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.