No. 8 Ohio St. 84, Iowa 71
Even Ohio State’s 1-2 punch recognizes the problems it
”It’s probably hard for them,” Tayler Hill said.
”What are you going to do, double one of us?” Samantha
Prahalis added. ”It’s difficult.”
Prahalis scored 30 points and Hill added 28 to rally No. 8 Ohio
State from a 15-point first-half deficit for an 84-71 victory over
Iowa on Monday. The Buckeyes (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten) are off to their
best start during the NCAA era.
”For them to account for 58 of their team’s points is
amazing,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
Ohio State’s 15-game winning streak is the school’s longest
since winning 17 in a row during the 2006-07 season. The Buckeyes
won a school-record 20 in a row in 2005-06 and also in 1984-85.
They have won 26 of their last 27 games, the only loss to
top-seeded Tennessee in a 2011 NCAA regional semifinal.
After falling behind by 15, the Buckeyes scored 23 of the next
26 points to take the lead and then pulled away. Shooting 35
percent behind the arc coming in, Ohio State made 10 of 15
3-pointers, including 4 of 6 by Prahalis and 5 of 7 by Hill, the
Big Ten scoring leader.
Prahalis had 13 points during the 23-3 run, with Hill scoring
eight and Ashley Adams two. Prahalis, who finished with seven
assists, had the helping pass on three of her teammates’ buckets in
”We just had to get after it harder. It’s that simple,” said
Ohio State coach Jim Foster.
The Hawkeyes had taken control at the outset, cycling passes
around the perimeter to open shooters while the Buckeyes struggled
to guard them. Even when they missed, Johnson was there to score on
Morgan Johnson, who led the Hawkeyes (9-6, 1-1) with 25 points,
made two free throws that capped a 6-0 run for a 9-4 lead. Then on
consecutive possessions Kelly Krei and Jaime Printy, who finished
with 13 points, made 3-pointers to push the Iowa advantage to
22-12. Another 3 by Krei and Printy’s driving layup boosted the
lead to 37-22 – with the Hawkeyes in control of the ball and under
5 minutes left in the half.
But just that quickly, the game swiveled Ohio State’s way.
The Buckeyes, a step slow all day on defense, suddenly started
covering shooters and Iowa started missing. The Hawkeyes were just
1 of 8 from the field with four turnovers over the final 5 minutes
while Ohio State went 6 of 10 from the field, making three of four
3-pointers and both free throws.
”They started hitting their shots in transition,” said Iowa’s
Kamille Wahlin, who had 17 points. ”Transition is really their
game. Prahalis and Hill push it so well. Once they got that
confidence going, it’s hard to stop them.”
Hill, who finished the half with 15 points, had eight straight
points for the Buckeyes at one point – including back-to-back
3-pointers that seemed to energize the Buckeyes.
Ohio State didn’t let up to start the second half, either.
Prahalis put the Buckeyes ahead to stay when she made a 3 at the
18:45 mark. Amber Stokes followed with a stepback baseline jumper
before Prahalis converted a free throw and then popped in a jumper
from the elbow to make it 47-40. The Hawkeyes had mustered just
three points over more than 8 minutes.
Prahalis later scored on a four-point play – she was fouled
while making a 3 from the right wing – to push the lead to 70-55
with 9 1-2 minutes left.
Iowa, which has lost 16 of the last 18 meetings with Ohio State,
closed within eight points with 90 seconds left, but the Buckeyes
pulled away again.
Off to a surprising start – the Buckeyes were unranked in the
preseason – now they’re trying to maintain their momentum in
”We have a board in our locker room that has the records of
every team in the league,” Foster said. ”We want to be at the
top, and we were in the (preconference) season. So we moved that
column over. Now we started the Big Ten column. And we want to be
on top in that.”
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