No. 25 Ohio St. 71, Illinois 62
Brittany Johnson scored 22 and Jantel Lavender added 19 to help
No. 25 Ohio State beat Illinois 71-62 on Thursday night.
After a slow start, the Buckeyes (12-6, 3-3 Big Ten) built a
38-29 halftime lead behind 15 first-half points from Johnson, who
hit 5-of-6 from behind the arc.
”I was feeling good, I thought we all came out and played
hard,” Johnson said. ”It was just a fun game. I had some good
looks because (Illinois) was doubling down.”
Karisma Penn added 26 points and 18 rebounds for the Illini
(7-12, 2-4), who have now lost seven straight games to the
Buckeyes. This marks Penn’s 12th double-double of the season, which
leads the Big Ten.
The Illini jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first 2:25.
Lana Rukavina made two layups and Penn added a bucket of her own to
put the Illini up early.
Ohio State took it’s first lead of the game, 26-24, on a
3-pointer from Johnson with 4:03 to play, but Illinois’ Blinn
answered right back with a 3-pointer of her own, retaking the lead
for the Illini.
”Brittany got great looks, took her time, and I thought,
defensively, she did a great job,” Ohio State coach Jim Foster
Ohio State’s Adams then hit a layup to put the Buckeyes up by
one. On the next trip down the court for the Buckeyes, Johnson
nailed another 3-pointer to increase their lead to 31-27 with 2:54
to play in the half. Adams’ jumper with five seconds remaining in
the half put the Buckeyes up 38-29.
Illinois dissolved Ohio State’s lead midway through the second
half on a three-point play from Lydia McCully, giving Illinois the
lead, 50-49, with 9:30 to play. That lead wouldn’t last long as
Johnson sank yet another 3-pointer to put Ohio State back on top