COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State suffered its third straight defeat Sunday afternoon, dropping a 74-68 decision to Northwestern at Value City Arena.
The loss drops the Buckeyes to 13-9 and 4-6 in the Big Ten while Northwestern improves to 16-8 and 5-6 in conference play.
Ohio State led by eight, 52-44, with 13:05 left before a 19-2 by Northwestern over the next 10 minutes put the Wildcats in control, 63-54, with 3:50 left. The Wildcats went inside early and often to senior Amy Jaeschke, who scored 19 of her game-high 29 in the second half.
The Buckeyes, who shot well at 50.9 percent, slowly chipped away at Northwestern’s lead, but 10 second-half turnovers and the inability to get stops defensively ultimately let the Wildcats escape with the win.
Jantel Lavender (16) and Ashley Adams (18) combined for 34 points and Samantha Prahalis notched her first career triple double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Tayler Hill chipped in with 11, four assists and four steals.
A seesaw first half saw six ties and 12 lead changes as Ohio State led 34-32 at the break. The Buckeyes shot 57.1 percent in the first 20 minutes, dominating the paint area as Adams (10) and Lavender (11) combined for 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Prahalis had four points, five boards and five assists at the half.
Ohio State will be back in action Thursday vs. Purdue at Nationwide Arena downtown Columbus. Game time is 6 p.m.
• Ohio State is 137-13 at home overall under Jim Foster and 110-9 since the start of 2004-05.
• For the sixth game of the season, Ohio State’s FG percentage was 50 percent or better. It was the first time this season Ohio State lost when shooting better than 50 percent (6-1).
• The Buckeyes were 54.5 percent from behind the arc, the second time this season Ohio State shot better than 50 percent from the 3-point line. The last time was vs. Michigan (52.4) Jan. 27.
• It is just the Buckeyes’ second loss of the season when they lead at halftime as they led Northwestern 34-32. Ohio State is 12-2 when leading at the halfway point.
• Jantel Lavender made her 124th consecutive start, tying the school record set by Katie Smith.
• Lavender is the second-leading active scorer in the nation (2,537) behind UConn’s Maya Moore
• Lavender has scored 10+ points in all 124 career games, the longest active streak in Division I.
• Samantha Prahalis recorded her first-career triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Her 10 rebounds also was a career high. Prahalis is the first Buckeye since Jessica Davenport (17 points, 10 rebounds, 11 blocks at Minnesota, Feb. 8, 2007) to achieve such a feat.
• Freshman Ashley Adams scored a career-best 18 points (9-for-13) in a career-high 38 minutes.
• Brittany Johnson needs two points to reach 900 for her career and two more 3FGs to tie Jamie Lewis for fifth all-time.
• More than 70 Ohio State women’s basketball alumni (players, coaches, managers, team staff) were in attendance at the game.
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“They imposed their will on us and we did not defend it. We let them do what they wanted to do and needed to do and we didn’t fight through it. We aren’t a team that fights through adversity and that’s how you win games. They did what they wanted to do and we let them do it.”
On Ohio State fighting through adversity
“This team has not been able to weather the storms. Basketball is a game of stops. Stops are an integral part. In all of these games there is a point where we just don’t get stops. Then our offense will try to play quickly and that’s counterproductive.”
On what Ohio State must change
“Our mentality. We have been averaging 68 points and we are second in league. You score your average and you lose. We have to make an attitudinal adjustment in regards to guarding people and its importance and significance.”
Ashley Adams, freshman center
On what she’s learning
“I’m most definitely learning to be more aggressive. That’s the main thing. Like coach said, we need to get our minds straight on defense, so we need to be more aggressive on offense and defense.”
Jantel Lavender, senior center
On responding to adversity
“We don’t compete well when we get down. Teams are just coming at us and we’re not responding.”
On how the team has changed
“It’s more fun when everybody’s on the same page and when everyone’s playing together. It’s how we used to play. We would get down, but we would make stops.”
On teammate Samantha Prahalis
“I think Sammy [Prahalis] did a good job. She was competing at the end of the game. She really wanted to win. Her effort was amazing. I saw she had a triple-double. She was in it to win. She was trying to do anything she could to make that happen.”
Joe McKeown, Northwestern head coach
Thoughts on the game
“It was a hard-fought game. It was a game of runs. Fortunately, we had the last run. The stretch from six minutes down to a minute, I thought we did everything we had to do.”
On the differences in Ohio State
“I still think they are the most dangerous team in the Big Ten. They are capable of unbelievable things and maybe in March too. I really don’t know what the difference is. I don’t think they are as good in transition as they were last year. It’s a tough league. It means a lot to be able to come in here and get a win. It’s been tough the last two years for us.”
Amy Jaeschke, senior center
On coming from behind for the win
“When we played them at home we were down in the first half then came back. We were reminded at a timeout we are able to come back on this team.”
On Northwestern’s improvement
“We’ve grown a lot as a team with coach coming in and implementing a competitive team and competitive practices. That has helped us as a team.”
On what Northwestern had to do to win
“We had to take the scouting report and transfer it over to the game, play fundamental defense, and stay between our man and the ball. It worked.”
On playing against Jantel Lavender
“It’s been a great matchup. I’ve always had a lot of fun playing against her. She has a lot of skill. It’s great going up against a player that is great offensively and defensively. She loves the right hand layup so I try to stay over her left shoulder to keep her from scoring.”