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Prahalis’ career-best scoring helps Buckeyes beat Badgers

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Senior guard Samantha Prahalis scored a career-high 34 points to lead the No. 11 Ohio State women’s basketball team to a 72-58 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers (8-15, 4-7 Big Ten) Monday night.

The senior said she was unaware of her accomplishment until she was taken out of the game with less than three minutes left.

 “I didn’t know until I got to the bench and they asked me what my previous high had been, and they told me I beat it,” Prahalis  said.

Monday’s victory comes after the Buckeyes (21-2, 8-2 Big Ten) suffered their second loss of the season against Minnesota. The loss motivated Prahalis to assert herself into the next the game she played.

“Today I made it a point to be more aggressive from the start,” she said. “My shot felt good, so I was kind of in a flow in the game.”

She also had five assists, which puts her at 863 for her career. Prahalis needs 30 more to overtake Northwestern’s Nancy Kennelly for the all-time career record in the Big Ten.

Even the opposing coach was impressed with her performance.

“With a kid like that on your team, you have a chance to do something special and they probably will,” said Wisconsin coach Bobby Kelsey.

In the loss, the Badgers scored 36 of 58 points from behind the arc.

“They were great from the three-point line,” said OSU coach Jim Foster. “That’s the way they play and they’re very good at it. I give them credit.”

OSU kept the lead for the entire evening, but the Badgers found ways to battle back into the game. In the second half, the Badgers went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to three with 11:58 in the game. The next possession saw sophomore center Darryce Moore answer with a layup, which sparked an 11-3 OSU run, and eventually, an OSU victory.

Following Prahalis, junior guard Tayler Hill had 18 points and four rebounds. Going into the game, Hill was leading the Big Ten with 22.5 points per game.

Monday’s win gives the Buckeyes two straight victories against the Badgers this year. OSU defeated Wisconsin, 77-61, in December.

Following this win, OSU travels to Illinois to face the Fighting Illini on Thursday. The Buckeyes defeated the Illini, 96-84, earlier this season.

Although OSU proved resilient after its defeat against Minnesota, Prahalis said the team understands the intensity of the competition during the final month of the season.

“Every game’s going to be a dogfight, and we got to bring it,” said Prahalis.

The Buckeyes return home Sunday against the No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers (19-5, 9-2). Tip is at 5 p.m

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