BERKELEY, Calif. Playing in its second NCAA Sweet 16 in four years, No. 3 seed Ohio State fell to No. 2 seed Stanford, 84-66, in the Berkeley Regional Semifinal game of the 2009 NCAA Tournament Saturday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
The 6,178 fans in attendance were dominated by Cardinal faithful with Stanford’s campus just 40 miles away from the Berkeley campus.
Ohio State’s sensational freshman Samantha Prahalis led the Buckeyes with 19 points and six assists while Jantel Lavender added 15 and six rebounds while sitting a majority of the second half in foul trouble.
Stanford had four players finish in double figures with Pac-10 Player of the Year Jayne Appel leading all scorers with 25 points 18 of those coming in the second half. She also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds. Ohio State’s Sarah Schulze came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points, while senior Star Allen led the team with eight rebounds in her final game as a Buckeye.
Coming out of the break, Stanford added to its 37-35 lead, going up but as much as 11. The Buckeyes cut away at the Cardinal lead and a layup by Andrea Walker brought Ohio State within three, 57-54, with 10:25 left.
Walker would finish with seven points and six rebounds.
But the Cardinal would respond and upped its lead to 65-55 over the next 3 minutes. The Buckeyes came within four at the 5:39 mark 66-62 on an Allen free throw, but it wasn’t enough as Stanford pulled away in the end.
Buckeyes opened up the game with an 8-2 lead with the help of two Cardinal turnovers and four quick points from Prahalis. Stanford, however, put together a 7-0 run coming out of the first media timeout to take the slim 9-8 lead.
Both teams played evenly throughout the first 20 minutes, seeing 11 lead changes and four ties. The Cardinal would eventually take a 37-35 lead at half.
The Buckeyes outshot the Cardinal from the free throw line, marking just the second time in the last two years that the Buckeyes failed to win when making more from the charity stripe.
Ohio State ends the season with a 29-6 overall record. They were champions of the Big Ten regular-season for a record-tying fifth consecutive season and won the Big Ten tournament title for the second time in four years.
And much more will be expected next season. The Buckeyes lose a pair of talented seniors in Ashlee Trebilcock and Allen, but return their young and talented core that featured the Big Ten freshman, defensive and player of the year.
No. 2 seed Stanford (32-4), 84, vs. No. 3 seed Ohio State (29-6), 66
NCAA Semifinal Game Berkeley Region
March 28, 2009
Ohio State finishes its 2008-09 season with 29-6 overall record.
No. 3 seed Ohio State advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2005 season and for the eighth time in school history. Ohio State has made the Sweet 16 in 2009, 2005, 1993, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986 and 1985.
Head coach Jim Foster made the 10th Sweet 16 appearances of his career eight at Vanderbilt and two at Ohio State.
Saturday was the second meeting between Ohio State and Stanford. The last meeting was December 28, 1984, seeing the Buckeyes defeat Stanford, 79-47.
The game featured 11 lead changes and four ties all in the second half.
Head coach Jim Foster is 31-23 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 7-7 at Ohio State.
Ohio State is 20-18 all-time in the NCAA Tournament in its 18th year.
The loss broke a 10-game winning streak for the Buckeyes. The team closed out the season winning 15 of their last 18.
Foster’s overall record at Ohio State to 181-46 and 685-272 overall.
Lavender finished in second place on Ohio State’s single-season scoring list with 728. Katie Smith holds the record of 745 points in 1995-96.
The Buckeyes finished 5-1 in the postseason this year after going 0-2 last season.
Ohio State is 24-2 this season when it makes more free throws than its opponent and 42-2 over the last two seasons when accomplishing that feat.
Freshman Samantha Prahalis dished out six more assists and finishes with 203 on the season, improving on her Ohio State freshman record. She is second on Ohio State’s single-season list behind Jamie Lewis (257, 2000-01) the only two players to record 200 or more assists at Ohio State.
Lavender has scored 10 or more points in all 66 career games, the tying her with Megan Frazee of Liberty for the longest active streak in Division I.
Lavender is tied for 15th on Ohio State’s all-time scoring list with 1,275 points.
Ohio State is now 19-9 all-time against Pac-10 schools.