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Jantel Lavender becomes the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder in the loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rachel Sheffer scored five of her 23 points down the stretch and Michigan rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 24 Ohio State 69-66 on Thursday.

With under 2 minutes to play, Sheffer made a basket and free throw to pull Michigan (13-7, 6-2 Big Ten) within 66-65.

After Ohio State’s Brittany Johnson missed a jumper, Sheffer made a pair of foul shots with 29.2 seconds left for the Wolverines’ first lead since midway in first half.

Samantha Prahalis, who led Ohio State (13-7, 4-4) with 25 points, missed a shot but teammate Alison Jackson was fouled going for the rebound with 3.4 seconds left.

Jackson missed both free throws and Jenny Ryan was fouled by Prahalis. Ryan made both free throws and Johnson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer after a timeout.

Ohio State and Prahalis couldn’t miss in the first half as the Buckeyes raced out to a 46-33 lead. Prahalis was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and hit all five of her 3-pointers, including one at the buzzer that brought the VCA crowd to its feet at intermission.

But Ohio State’s offense stalled in the second half, scoring just 20 points and shooting 26.9 percent after shooting 57.7 in the first 20 minutes.

Veronica Hicks added 14 points for the Wolverines.

Johnson finished with 14 points and Jantel Lavender had 10 points for the Buckeyes. Lavender became the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder, breaking the 26-year-old record previously held by Indiana’s Denise Jackson.

After Michigan State fell tonight at Iowa, there is now a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten standings with Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State — all at 6-2.

Postgame Notes
• Ohio State is 137-12 at home overall under Jim Foster and 110-8 since the start of 2004-05.
•The loss Thursday night was the first for the Buckeyes against Michigan in Columbus since Jan. 21, 2001. Ohio State had won the last eight meetings in Columbus.
• Ohio State tied a season-high with 46 points and shot better than 50 percent (57.7 percent) in the first half.
• The Buckeyes had a season-best 11 3-pointers. Their previous season high was 9 vs. Iowa.
• Jantel Lavender became the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder after grabbing 14 boards. Lavender now has 1,279 career rebounds, passing Indiana’s Denise Jackson’s previous record of 1,273 set back in 1984.
• Lavender is the second-leading active scorer in the nation (2,495) behind UConn’s Maya Moore (2,628).
• Lavender has scored 10+ points in all 122 career games, the longest active streak in Division I.
• Samantha Prahalis was a season-best 9-for-13 (.692) from the field. She was 7-of-7 in the first half, hitting all five of her three-point attempts.
• Prahalis also became just the second Buckeye and the seventh Big Ten player in Big Ten history to reach 600 career assists.
• Brittany Johnson has hit 20 3-point field goals in her last five games, 16 in her last three.

Postgame Quotes
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“I was not happy with our first half other than we made shots. We never established Jantel (Lavender) and never established her game. Kate Thompson is a matchup dilemma. It’s been like that in both games. She just puts a lot of stress on us defensively and our bench needs to produce some points.”

On Ohio State’s difficulties establishing a post game
“We were not involved in the post game. The difference in what they did and what we did is they hit 10 3-point shots, but they never forgot the post game.”

On Michigan’s progression
“I just think they are very comfortable in their framework and with how they’re playing. If you come to help in the post, they’re very good at kicking it out for the three. We just have to be who we are and continue to grow. They played very well and executed, we didn’t”

On moving on from the loss
“Obviously we had some matchup situations tonight. Young players need to process what you have to do in one game you don’t necessarily have to do in the next game.”

Samantha Prahalis, junior guard
On first-half shooting
“I just got in a good rhythm. That was basically it. I was a little hot tonight and I found a good rhythm.”

On the difference in the second half
“We couldn’t get a stop. Then on offense it was kind of dull and stale. We weren’t really moving or getting into a fluid rhythm.”

Jantel Lavender, senior center
On the game
“I was really frustrated. I think like coach said when I did have some good looks it didn’t get there. It was kind of frustrating when you can’t do what you like doing.”

On defensive trouble
“We weren’t getting defensive stops late in the possessions. They were getting second rebounds late in the shot clock.”

On breaking the Big Ten rebounding record
“It’s exciting and I’m glad I did it. I think it’s awesome it hasn’t been broken in 26 years. I try to be there to rebound.”

Kevin Borseth, Michigan head coach
On Ohio State guard Samantha Prahalis’ first-half play
“Prahalis was the ‘x-factor.’ She was just hitting shots. She was hitting them stepping back and was taking it right at them. She was just hot at the pistol.”

On changes in the second half
“I just thought in the second half we could get to the free throw line more. These kids have a lot of resilience. It’s exciting to come back in a game like this.”

On Ohio State center Jantel Lavender
“She’s really a good player. She’s an absolute handful down there. We tried to keep her at bay and keep her at a distance.”

On the win on the road
“Every win is a big win in this conference and road wins are difficult. You’re going to have to come out in every game. At this point, I don’t think anyone is that much better than anyone else.”

On Ohio State
“The season isn’t over for them. Obviously they have a chip on their shoulder going into the next game. They’re going to have to be a little more determined. Sometimes it just doesn’t go their way. I wouldn’t want to be the next team to play them. They’re going to get better every game.”