Mitch Andrews / Lantern photographer
Maybe all the Ohio State women’s basketball team needed was a change of scenery.
After losing their past three games — two of which were played on their home court at the Schottenstein Center — the Buckeyes (14-9, 5-6) put an end to their skid with a 90-67 win against Purdue (16-9, 6-6), in a home game at Nationwide Arena.
“I like it down here,” OSU coach Jim Foster said. “I think this would be a great place for us to play some more games.”
Through the first 14 minutes of play, the Boilermakers played the Buckeyes closely, before OSU went on a 17-2 run, capped with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from senior guard Brittany Johnson to close out the half.
“Brittany was really focused with that shot,” senior center Jantel Lavender said. “It’s just a great shot. It helped us go out with momentum at the half.”
That momentum carried over into the second half for OSU. The Buckeyes never let their foot off the gas, extending their lead to as many as 30 points.
Johnson, who finished the game with 17 points, was one of four Buckeyes to reach double digits in scoring Thursday night. Lavender led the Buckeyes in scoring with 21 points. Sophomore guard Tayler Hill scored 17 points, and junior guard Samantha Prahalis added in 12 points to go along with 12 assists.
“It was fun,” Lavender said. “The most fun part about it was the fact that we played together — we made the extra pass, and I think everybody was on the same page defensively.”
OSU’s 90 points were the team’s second-highest point total this season. But the Buckeyes still said their defense was key to their victory.
“We were focused in on everybody,” Prahalis said. “We were in help defense. We were all on the same page, really, and we were focused on defense.”
At 14-9, the Buckeyes, who started the season with seven consecutive wins, find themselves with five games left before the Big Ten Tournament to make an impression on the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
“I haven’t looked at the standings; I’m not going to look at the standings,” Foster said. “We’re not in a position to look into the future.”
OSU returns to action at 3 p.m. Sunday, when it travels to Minnesota (11-12, 3-7) for its lone matchup of the regular season with the Golden Gophers.
Foster said that whether the Buckeyes can carry the momentum from Thursday’s win into Sunday’s game will tell a lot about his team.
“That’s what we’re about to find out, how mature we are,” Foster said. “We’ve worked through some stuff. We are on the same page.”