Abby Sweet / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State women’s basketball team carved out a win to start its postseason, and one player carved out a place in Big Ten history in the process.
The Buckeyes started the 2012 Big Ten tournament with a 57-48 victory against rival Michigan at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Friday. Senior guard Samantha Prahalis scored 11 points and recorded five assists, making her the all-time assists leader in Big Ten women’s basketball history.
The win puts the Buckeyes into the semifinals where they play No. 6-seed Nebraska, which upset No. 3-seed Iowa later on Friday, 80-68.
In the first half, neither team held a definitive lead, with the biggest point differential being five points. OSU jumped out to an early 7-2 lead before Michigan regained it, 14-9, at 12:00 in the half. The seesaw battle continued for the remainder of the half, as the Buckeyes entered the locker room with a 25-22 lead.
The second half saw the Buckeyes take full control of the lead. With 11:44 in the game, junior guard Tayler Hill scored on a fast break layup to put OSU ahead 43-29. Hill’s bucket was part of a 6-0 run. The lead was shortlived, however, and the Wolverines mounted their own offensive. Michigan senior guard Courtney Boylan hit a 3-point shot to bring with Wolverines within five points with 1:03 left in the game, but it was too little too late, as the Buckeyes held on for the 57-48 victory.
Prahalis overtook Northwestern’s Nancy Kennelly, who played from 1989-1993, and become the all-time assist leader in the Big Ten. Prahalis‘ five assists saw her pass Kennelly’s previous mark of 892 career assists.
Hill led OSU in scoring with 19 points, while freshman forward Kalpana Beach followed with 12. The Wolverines were led by senior guard Carmen Reynolds with 14 points.
The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers will tip their semifinal match Saturday at 5 p.m.