Buckeyes hold the Hawks to 29 percent shooting and force 20 turnovers in the victory
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jantel Lavender scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help No. 20 Ohio State rebound from its first loss of the season and beat Hartford 63-45 on Tuesday night.
Lavender, the Big Ten player of the week two weeks straight, also had five assists and two blocked shots for the Buckeyes (4-1), who lost 87-80 in overtime at Auburn on Sunday. It marked Lavender’s fifth double-double in as many games this season and the 18th of her career.
Samantha Prahalis added 11 points and Ashlee Trebilcock added 10 points. Star Allen chipped in with 12 rebounds as the Buckeyes held a 40-33 edge on the boards.
MaryLynne Schaefer was the lone Hartford player in double figures with 15 points. Diana Delva had 10 rebounds for the Hawks (3-2), who upset then-No. 6 Duke 53-51 last week in the DePaul Invitational.
The Buckeyes shot 54 percent from the field in building a 38-23 halftime lead and never trailed again. They were on top by 25 points midway through the second half.
The Buckeyes led at the half behind 12 points and seven rebounds from Lavender and seven points from Trebilcock. The Buckeyes jumped out a 15-9 lead with 14:28 left before a 9-0 run over the next three minutes gave Ohio State a 24-9 advantage midway through the half.
Hartford’s Erica Beverly brought the Hawks back to within nine with four minutes left, but Ohio State scored the final six points of the half in the last three minutes to take a 15-point lead at the break.
Ohio State is back in action this weekend when they host the Klosterman Buckeye Classic at St. John Arena, Nov. 29-30.
The Associated Press contributed to this story
Ohio State Postgame Notes
Ohio State has won 80-consecutive games at home against unranked teams. The last unranked opponent to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
Ohio State has won its four games by an average of 19.5 points.
Jantel Lavender has scored in double figures in all 36 career games.
Ohio State is 69-3 at home since the start of the 2004-05 season. The Buckeyes are 96-7 all-time at home in the Foster era.
Jantel Lavender recorded her fifth double-double in as many games with 22 points and 10 rebounds. It is the 18th of her career.
Tuesday was the second meeting in the all-time series. Ohio State leads the series, 2-0. The two teams also met Nov. 30, 2002.
Senior Ashlee Trebilcock earned her first start of the season. She finished with 10 points, five boards, two assists and two steals in 29 minutes.
Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis finished with 11 points and four assists in 26 minutes. She is averaging 16 points over her last three games.
Ohio State outscored the Hawks 30-12 in the paint.
Ohio State’s defense scored 19 points off 20 Harford turnovers. They held the Hawks to 25 percent shooting in the second half and 29 percent for the game.
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On tonight’s game
“I thought we played a very good basketball game tonight. If we play this good, I think we have a chance to win a lot of games. Two things I thought we worked hard on tonight were moving the ball around and spacing the floor.”
On winning after Auburn loss
“We wanted to play well tonight and win a game. You can’t make up for what you did and you have to look forward to get better and I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”
On last three games and team’s progress
“We do not play a non-conference opponent this year that won less than 18 games last season. It’s a tough schedule and in my opinion it’s something a young team needs. We need a lot of variety and a lot of looks to get us ready for the postseason.”
Ashlee Trebilcock, senior guard
On playing after a loss
“As a team we wanted to deny them, especially after a loss. I think we were extra pumped tonight. We wanted to go out and cause turnovers and create offense.”
On her improvements
“I think I am starting to zone in. You can ask coach (Foster) sometimes I just stand there. He will tell you it is like I just fall asleep. Now, I go out there and see a shot and go box out. I get the rebound. This goes hand-in-hand with improving on my defense.”
On Jantel Lavender’s passing improvements
“She is 100 percent better this year. She is going to be double-teamed for the rest of her life. She is a lot better on turning to look at the opposite side of the court. We are always ready for the pass.”
Jantel Lavender, sophomore center
On tonight’s game
“I think we played good. We knew Hartford was a good team. They are patient and just beat Duke. We had to come out well and play good defense tonight. I think we were ready tonight and Auburn helped prepare us for that.”
On ball movement
“I am more aware of the opposite side. I am ready to be double-teamed and I know that if I am the person across the court will be open. I turn to them to pass.”
Jennifer Rizzotti, Hartford head coach
On how the game went
“I knew coming into this game it was not going to be easy. Ohio State came back home after an overtime loss to Auburn I knew they were going to play with great intensity.”
On their game plan
“I wanted us to play better defense. We played with less intensity than I had hoped for and I wanted us to force them to take more difficult shots. We are working on making the offense more organized and playing together as a team while also excelling individually. They showed very good ball pressure that we didn’t handle very well.”
On playing on the road
“It’s tough playing on the road this long. To be able to face this caliber of teams in the postseason we need to learn how to play against them now. The only way we know how to get better at playing at this level is to travel to play these teams. It’s a good learning experience for our team.”
On Samantha Prahalis
“She is a great player. She does a great job at controlling the tempo well. She made the transition to college pretty easily probably due to the high level of playing she did in AAU.”