The No. 11-ranked Ohio State women’s basketball team got contributions from eight different players, including 24 points from junior guard Tayler Hill, as OSU defeated Northwestern, 82 -72, Thursday.
“We had some people coming off the bench and I thought they did a really good job,” said senior guard Samantha Prahalis, who added 20 points in the win. “I thought everyone was ready when they had to come in.”
The Buckeyes’ bench added 18 points in the victory, with seven coming from sophomore center Darryce Moore.
“Darryce is a very smart player,” said coach Jim Foster. “She thinks the game, and she knows the game.”
After leading for the majority of the first half, the Buckeyes fell behind, 47-43, at 14:46 in the second half, before going a 9-0 run that included seven points from Hill.
The Youngstown, Ohio, native, who had 19 points in the second half, sank a 3-point shot with 44 seconds left to give OSU a nine point lead and their first victory since the team’s disappointing loss to Michigan on Saturday.
“You don’t erase a loss,” said Hill. “I think you look at it and learn from it. We watched film and looked at our weaknesses and what we did and what we can improve on, and I think this game we tried to focus on the things we didn’t do at Michigan.”
Aside from the victory, the night also proved momentous for Prahalis.
Prahalis, who had six assists, moved into second place in the Big Ten’s all-time assists list. The senior Buckeye passed former Penn State Nittany Lion Tina Nicholson with 827 career assists.
Northwestern was led in scoring by junior center Danielle Diamant with 23 points and six rebounds, followed by junior forward Kendall Hackney who added 15 points.
The Buckeyes walked away with a win, but Foster expects more close games in the future.
“Every Big Ten game will be competitive,” said Foster. “They had better be because this is a physical league. The referees let you play. You have to figure it out. I think we did a good job of that (tonight).”
Tonight’s match-up was the only time the Wildcats and the Buckeyes will see each other in regular season play, but Northwestern coach Joe McKeown said he now understands how difficult Hill and Prahalis are to play against.
“They are as good of a back court as you are probably going to see, not just in the Big Ten, but in college basketball,” said McKeown. “They play like little kids on the playground and have that type of swagger right now.”
The Buckeyes will travel north to face Michigan State (12-5, 4-0 Big Ten) on Sunday. Opening tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.