No. 18 Ohio St. 77, No. 20 LSU 68
LSU’s LaSondra Barrett summed it up in a sentence.
”(Samantha Prahalis) and Tayler Hill pretty much killed us,”
Prahalis scored 28 points and flirted with a triple-double and
Hill added 23 including a critical high-bouncing 3-pointer, to lead
No. 18 Ohio State past No. 20 LSU 77-68 on Sunday night.
Prahalis had eight points and an assist in a 12-4 second-half
run that gave the Buckeyes (5-0) the lead for good.
”We weren’t aware of where Sammy was, giving her some quality
looks – and she knocked them down,” said Lady Tigers coach Nikki
Hill scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half.
There had been nine ties and eight lead changes when the score
was tied at 48. That’s when Prahalis took over.
First, she hit two free throws at the 9:28 mark for a lead that
the Buckeyes would never relinquish. After Hill followed an Amber
Stokes steal with two foul shots, Prahalis hit consecutive
3-pointers, the first on a kick-out pass from Darryce Moore and the
second on a quick stop-and-pop from Hill while trailing a fast
Then she drove and fed Kalpana Beach for a bucket inside and a
Prahalis finished with eight rebounds and eight assists, falling
just short of her second career triple-double.
”She’s a great player,” Hill said of her 5-foot-7 running mate
at guard. ”She’s the smallest player on the court, but she has the
LSU fought back to cut the lead to 62-56 only to have Prahalis
hit a stepback jumper in transition, then feed Stokes on a break
for a 66-58 advantage with 5 minutes remaining.
”I was feeling it and (my teammates) were finding me,” the
Buckeyes’ lone senior said. ”I just happened to have the hot hand
The Lady Tigers countered on a 3 and another perimeter jumper by
Adrienne Forthan, who finished with 15 points, before Barrett stole
a tipped pass and threw a length of the court assist to Jeanne
Kenney for a layup to cut it to 68-65 at the 3:18 mark.
After a timeout, the Buckeyes were down to 2 on the shot clock
when Hill pumped up a desperation 3 from the left wing. The ball
hit the back of the iron, bounded high in the air, and dropped
through the hoop.
”As a team, after practice, we work on those late plays and
playing-around 3s,” Hill said. ”That’s what it felt like.”
LSU never got closer than five points again as the Buckeyes –
who were 20 of 23 at the line, with Hill going 12 for 12 – hit all
six of their foul shots in the final 41 seconds.
”I thought all along that people didn’t understand, when they
were talking about what type of a team we were going to be, they
lost sight of how good those kids (Prahalis and Hill) are,” said
Ohio State coach Jim Foster.
Adrienne Webb also had 15 points and Barrett 13 for the Lady
Tigers, who hit three more field goals than the Buckeyes but were
outscored 20-10 at the foul line and 21-6 behind the arc.
Caldwell was upset about the loss, but considered it a learning
experience for her young team.
”I told the team, we have got to come to a point where we get
tired of losing,” she said. ”We missed our defensive assignments
and when you’re on the road, you have to have that. It’s still
early; we’ve got a lot more games to play. We can get this thing
The Lady Tigers were coming off a 44-43 home loss to another Big
Ten team, Northwestern, on Tuesday night in which they blew a
nine-point lead with nine minutes left.
Courtney Jones added eight points and 12 rebounds for LSU.
Beach chipped in with 13 points. Prahalis’ six 3-pointers made
was a career high for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will be tested by Florida State at home and at No. 12
Oklahoma in its next two games.
”Each one of us stepped up a little,” Prahalis said of the win
over LSU. ”It was a good team win. I’m happy with everyone.”
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