Buckeye finish non-conference 13-0 with 79-57 victory over Washington State

Go Buckeyes! Tayler Hill became the 30th player in Ohio State history to score 1,000 points.
Go Buckeyes!
Tayler Hill became the 30th player in Ohio State history to score 1,000 points.
Go Buckeyes!

Dec. 22, 2011

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Samantha Prahalis overcame a slow start to spark a second-half run and Ohio State (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) surged to a 79-57 victory over Washington State on Thursday night.

Prahalis, averaging 17.8 points, had two in the first 20 minutes as the Buckeyes (13-0) clung to a 40-35 halftime lead. She had six points in the opening four minutes after the break then hit her second 3-pointer with 11:38 left to spark a 17-1 spurt that gave the Buckeyes a 70-45 lead.

Tayler Hill, who scored her 1,000th career point, had 15 of her 21 points in the first half for the Buckeyes, while Prahalis finished with 20 points and 10 assists. Prahalis also recorded her 800th career helper.

Carly Noyes scored 15 for the Cougars and Jazmine Perkins added 10.

The turning point came in the last 30 seconds of the first half, when Ohio State's Amber Stokes had four points and Maleeka Kynard made two free throws to turn a 35-34 deficit into a five-point advantage.

Postgame Notes

• For the second time in program history, Ohio State went undefeated in non-conference action in the NCAA era with a 13-0 record. The Buckeyes went 10-0 in 2000-01.
• With a 40-35 halftime lead, Ohio State has now led at the half in each of its games this season.
• Leading 40-35 at halftime, the Buckeyes went on a 20-1 run in a span of 9:18 to take a 66-45 lead with 6:12 remaining in the game.
• Junior guard Tayler Hill eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career after scoring 21 points to become the 30th player in Ohio State history to score at least 1,000 points.
• Senior guard Samantha Prahalis recorded her 19th-career double double with 20 points and 10 assists.
• With 10 assists, Prahalis now has 800 career assists and has become the third Big Ten player to record at least 800 in a career. Prahalis moved into third place in the conference in career assists, passing Penn State’s Helen Darling (791).
• With the win, head coach Jim Foster improved to 151-13 in Columbus.
• Ohio State has made more free throws (219) than opponents have attempted this season (207). 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.

Postgame Quotes

June Daugherty, Washington State head coach
On the game
“It was a tale of two halves for us. I thought we came out as the aggressor the first half; second half it was completely opposite with Ohio State being the aggressor. Defensively, I don’t think we responded to the physicality of their defense. We learned a lot from playing in this great environment. A game like this prepares us for our league. It’s disappointing we didn’t put two halves together tonight.

On the difference in the game
Ohio State came out the second half ready to play. They played big time, Big Ten rough and tumble defense. We didn’t respond the way we should have, but we’ll learn from it.”

On Ohio State’s defense
“I thought defensively they were the best defense in the second half that we’ve seen this season and we have seen some good competition. They definitely, in the second half, sat down, got tough and stayed right on the basketball and it caused us to spread out our offense. They’re great offensively, everyone knows that, but I think the second half they deserve a lot of credit about their defense.”

Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On the final push in the first half
“I looked up the last minute and a half in the first half and there were three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior on the floor. Amber (Stokes) acted like a leader and made some plays out there. They did a really good job. The five point cushion going in the half was good seeing how we had played in the first half. I think in the second half we really got at it defensively.”

On Maleeka Kynard
We have good players. We watch (Maleeka) Kynard every day. What she did today didn’t surprise us. We’ve seen her get progressively better since the beginning of practice. In practice she guards against Tayler Hill and (Samantha) Prahalis and then goes against Amber Stokes on the offensive end. If you can get better against them then the games are really, really easy for you and that’s what happened in my opinion. They practice hard.”

On Washington State
“They’re good. They play a good schedule. They’re good at setting screens. Our kids in the first half weren’t negotiating and were getting bumped a bit. In the second half we were getting locked on them. You can’t screen us if we’re on you. They play a style that’s very conducive for them to have success; they’re committed to it and do a very good job at it.”

Darryce Moore, junior guard
On the team’s improvement in the second half
“Towards the end of the first half we got stops when we needed to and we just made the plays we needed to make and that carried over into the second half. We all came out ready to play and fed off of each other. I feed off of other people’s energy and I bring energy. It helps to be able to feed off of other people’s energy. Everyone coming out in the second half energized really helped us perform as well as we did.”   

Samantha Prahalis, senior guard
On scoring in the first half
“It’s a little frustrating when I keep missing shots, but I try to come out and not think about it and eventually I started scoring.”

On Ohio State’s second-half performance
“Amber [Stokes] energized us at the end of the first half and in the second half we built off of that energy, making us much more active.”

On entering Big Ten play undefeated
“It speaks for itself. We’re undefeated right now, but it has nothing to do with the Big Ten. We’re really focused and ready for the Big Ten.”

On how the team has improved throughout the course of the season
“Compared to 13 games ago we’re doing a lot better. Our bench play is a lot better and we are all coming together a lot better than 13 games ago.”  

Taylor Hill, junior guard
On being the 30th player in program history to break 1,000 career points
“I knew about it because I heard it being announced.  It’s a good accomplishment, but during the game I wasn’t really thinking about it.”  

On Washington State’s competitiveness and performance
“I think Washington State came out and came hard. They played as an element, no one tried to outdo everyone else on their team. When we came out, we knew their guards were rebounding and that we needed to come out and box out and we came out in the second half and shut them down.”