Prahalis, Hill lead Buckeyes to 78-51 win

Go Buckeyes! Kalpana Beach made the start in her first collegiate game and scored 10 points in 17 minutes.
Go Buckeyes!
Kalpana Beach made the start in her first collegiate game and scored 10 points in 17 minutes.
Go Buckeyes!

Nov. 13, 2011

Box Score

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Samantha Prahalis and Tayler Hill paced the Buckeyes with 17 points apiece to lead the Buckeyes to a 78-51 season-opening win over the Tennessee State Lady Tigers Sunday at Value City Arena.

Prahalis, the preseason Big Ten co-player of the year, added six assists and went 9 of 9 from the free throw line while Hill added four steals and hit two deep three-pointers.

Ohio State, the youngest team in the Big Ten this season, got big contributions from a couple freshmen, with 10 points apiece coming from Kalpana Beach and Raven Ferguson off the bench. Sophomore Ashley Adams added 10 points and six blocked shots.

Tennessee State scored the first basket of the game before the Buckeyes reeled off a 22-2 run to take command as six different Buckeyes scored in the first 8 minutes. Ohio State turned up the pressure defensively early and often, forcing six Lady Tiger turnovers during the run. The Buckeyes forced 13 first-half turnovers and 23 for the game.

Ferguson came off the bench to score 10 quick points and grab four rebounds in the opening stanza. Prahalis scored 10 in the first half while dishing out four assists as Ohio State built a 48-21 lead at the half.

Ohio State dominated on the glass, outrebounding TSU 46-33, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to 16 second-chance points.

The Buckeyes, who won their 17th straight season opener, are back in action this Friday, Nov. 18 when they play host to Temple at VCA. Game time is 6 p.m. ET.

Postgame Notes

  • Ohio State has won its last 17 season openers. The Buckeyes have not dropped a season opener since 1994 and a home opener since 1985, a 78-76 loss to Texas. All-time, Ohio State is 37-10 in season opening games.
  • In just its second meeting against Tennessee State, Ohio Stated improved to 2-0 following the win Sunday. The first meeting was an 88-41 win in 2007.
  • Ohio State is 141-13 at home overall under Jim Foster and 114-9 since the start of the 2004-05 season.
  • The Buckeyes held Tennessee State without a field goal for 6:31 in the first half en route to a 23-5 lead. It also marked a 12-0 Ohio State run.
  • Ohio State held Tayla Foster, the Tennessee State leading scorer from a year ago (11.6 ppg) to two points Sunday.
  • 2011-12 Big Ten preseason co-player of the year Samantha Prahalis and Tayler Hill led the Buckeyes with 17 points each vs. Tennessee State.
  • All four freshmen - Kalpana Beach, Shelbi Honeycutt, Maleeka Kynard and Raven Ferguson - saw playing time. Ferguson paced the newcomers with 21 minutes and also had eight rebounds to lead all Buckeyes. Beach started the game and put up 10 points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes.
  • Sophomore Ashley Adams recorded six blocked shots - one shy of her career best.
  • Redshirt sophomore Aleksandra Dobranic scored her first points vs. Tennessee State since Nov. 25, 2009. Dobranic did not play last season because of injury.

Postgame Quotes

Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On the game
"We started the game aggressively and showed great continuity in the second half. As a team we rebounded well and there were five players in double figures, terrific game."

On coaching a young team
"We are the youngest team in the Big Ten but we have a veteran backcourt, which is a contradiction, but it seems to work very well for us."

Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State guard
On in-game injury
"I got caught in the air and as I fell, I felt someone underneath me and then somebody stepped on my ear and then the cramp came."

On the team's performance
"The defense was good, the energy was good, but we did lose some focus in the second half because we had a big lead."

Kalpana Beach, Ohio State forward
On her first start
"I just knew it would be different than high school. I just went out there and played as hard as I could. I had an idea I would be starting before the game began, but I wasn't told until right before tip."

Tayler Hill, Ohio State guard
On freshman Kalpana Beach
"She's energetic and is a big body for us down in the paint. She brings a lot to the game both offensively and defensively."

Tracee Wells, Tennessee State head coach
Opening statement
"I'm very pleased with the second half effort that my team made tonight. They scored 30 points in the second half and we scored the same. We have a long road ahead of us, but tonight we saw a lot of ways to prepare for the conference season."

On Ohio State's play
"They were bigger than us and we allowed passes to go right to them. We allowed too many easy scores. The first 10 minutes of the game, it took us too long to do what we needed to do."

On Ohio State's youth
"We knew coming into the game that they were gong to be finding their identity as a team. We understood that this was going to be a test for them to figure out who works best in those positions. We just wanted to get out there and put five people out in front of their five."

On what Tennessee State learns from playing Ohio State
"These games definitely help us because we're not going to see this kind of size in our conference. It gives us confidence playing against four or five players who are 6'5", when we see only one player of that size in our conference. Now we know we can go up with confidence."