Dec. 20, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Tayler Hill scored 24 points to help No. 11 Ohio State overcome a sluggish start and beat Southern Utah 88-50 on Tuesday.
The Buckeyes (12-0), playing for the third time in four days, trailed 15-13 with 12:12 left in the first half after a field goal by Southern Utah's Carli Moreland.
Samantha Prahalis countered with a jumper to tie it 15-all before Hill hit a pair of 3-pointers for a six-point lead. The Thunderbirds (4-7) never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
The Buckeyes took a 38-25 halftime lead.
Prahalis finished with nine points but added seven assists, five steals and six rebounds.
Hill was 8 for 14 from the floor and hit half of her eight 3-point attempts and all four free throws. Twelve of 13 Ohio State players scored, with Prahalis, Darryce Moore, Amber Stokes and Raven Ferguson each contributing nine points.
Kimie Hawkins had 10 points for Southern Utah.
The Buckeyes will play their fourth game in six days Thursday when they host Washington State out of the Pac-12. Game time is 7 p.m. at VCA.
Tuesday was the first meeting between Ohio State and Southern.
Head coach Jim Foster won his 150th game in Columbus. Foster is now 150-13.
The Buckeyes scored 36 points off 27 turnovers in the win Tuesday.
The Buckeyes scored 80-plus points for the fourth time in five games after their win over Southern Utah.
Junior guard Tayler Hill led all scorers with 24 points and has scored 20 or more points for the second consecutive game. Hill has recorded 20 or more points seven-of-eight games this season.
Senior guard Samantha Prahalis recorded a season-high and career-high (tie) five steals Tuesday.
Ohio State has made more free throws (197) than opponents have attempted (196) this season. The Buckeyes are 10-0 this year and 98-9 since the start of the 2007-08 season when they make more than their opponents at the line.
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On bench play
"I think that's the strength of this group. People look at two players, but we have a lot of players who can play the game of basketball. I loved the last four minutes of the game. No selfishness."
On the play of Samantha Prahalis
"She had seven assists, five steals and six rebounds. For the smallest player on our team, she tied for the lead in rebounding. To be that aggressive in the passing lanes, I think it shows how much she's grown as a player. She's always been a good basketball player, but I think she's gotten better at that kind of stuff."
On Ohio State's improvements
"Players start to see on a daily basis that the stuff they do works for them and they get more confident when they win a game. A lot of players have seen successful as a result of ball movement and good decisions."
On Ohio State's post players
"Martina [Ellerbe] is a player who had to learn you can be called a good basketball player if you don't score points. Darryce [Moore] is a very good passer. She and [Ashley] Adams are much better passers than 90 percent of players in their positions. I've had some players in the past who I wouldn't ask to pass me the salt, let alone pass a ball."
On Washington State
"They're very good. They have very good guards and they've played a very good schedule. I think they're trying to make themselves look like a Big Ten team. I think that says a lot about our conference. More power to them."
Amber Stokes, junior guard
On Ohio State's strategy
"Our goal is to shut the team down and not let them get any easy baskets. We just have to come out and play hard. We have to be energized for every game. If the team doesn't come out energized it shows in our performance."
On the improvement of the underclassmen
"Just watching them play, they are getting so much better. Watching them in practice, you can see they are really moving along. That just needs to continue and it will improve the entire team. Practice can be very competitive sometimes."
Tayler Hill, junior guard
On scoring and the play of Samantha Prahalis
"Overall we have a very versatile team. Everyone can score, it just depends on the game. When she (Prahalis) is not scoring she's able to excel in other areas. I think she had four or five steals today. Our players coming off the bench can help a lot with scoring as well. "
On the game
"The first half we didn't come out as hard as we should have. We weren't as focused, but later in the game I think our focus picked up and that was the key to winning the game"