Ohio State’s eight-game win streak ends, Lavender leads all scorers with 20 points
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ashley Ellis-Milan scored 17 points, including two tiebreaking free throws with 17.3 seconds left, leading Minnesota to a 59-56 win over No. 15 Ohio State on Thursday for its first win on the Buckeyes’ home court.
The Golden Gophers (12-5, 4-2 Big Ten) never trailed after the 9:31 mark of the first half, although the Buckeyes (14-3, 5-1) pulled even twice in the second half.
Minnesota was 0-23 at Ohio State.
Katie Ohm added 15 points for the Golden Gophers.
Jantel Lavender, the Big Ten’s top scorer and rebounder, had 20 points, Samantha Prahalis 16 and Brittany Johnson 11 for Ohio State.
After Prahalis tied it with two free throws with 35.1 seconds left, Ellis-Milan hit three foul shots down the stretch. Lavender failed on a last-second shot between two defenders at the finish.
The Buckeyes were playing without starting point guard Shavelle Little, out with a left knee injury. Little, the defensive player of the year in the Big Ten last season, was on crutches. She is listed as day-to-day and may be available for Ohio State’s next game on Jan. 22.
Minnesota, ahead 26-20 at the half, watched as the Buckeyes pulled even with an 8-0 run fueled by Prahalis’ drives and passes into the paint for power moves by Lavender.
But Ohm ended that drought with a 3 for a 40-37 lead with 11:18 left — the Gophers’ seventh 3-pointer in eight attempts.
Every time Ohio State made a move at the Gophers’ lead, the Gophers responded.
With Minnesota ahead 54-47 and under 3 minutes left, the Buckeyes made a final run. Prahalis hit a long 3 before Star Allen drove the lane for a left-handed layup. After Fox, the shot clock ticking down, hit a 10-foot jumper, the teams traded possessions. The Buckeyes got it back with just over 48 seconds left when Fox was called for pushing off on an inbounds pass to her.
Ohio State came out of a timeout and Prahalis drove the lane and was fouled, hitting both shots to tie it again.
At the other end, Minnesota worked it around the perimeter before Ellis-Milan was fouled with 17.3 seconds left on a power move under the basket. She hit both shots for a 58-56 lead.
The Buckeyes looked inside to Lavender but Prahalis’ pass was too high and sailed out of bounds with 5.9 seconds remaining.
Ellis-Milan was then fouled on the inbounds pass and hit one of the two free throws.
Ohio State inbounded with 3.3 seconds left on a long pass to Lavender near midcourt. She tried to shoulder between two defenders to get off a potential tying 3-pointer, but the ball fell far short.
Just about everything went Minnesota’s way in the first 20 minutes.
The Golden Gophers limited the Buckeyes, averaging 71 points a game, to 20 points on 29 percent shooting. Minnesota scrapped for every loose ball and every rebound, too, outscoring Ohio State 11-0 in second-chance points.
The Buckeyes had more turnovers (10) than field goals (7) and were dominated on the boards, 20-13.
Lavender hit 3-of-4 shots from the field but was muscled by double teams and was largely ineffective. The rest of the team was just 4 of 20 from the field (20 percent) and hit only one of seven 3-pointers.
Ohm had nine points and Ellis-Milan eight.
The Golden Gophers broke free from a tie at 15 to run off the next seven points. Ellis-Milan was physical inside, scoring four points in the surge.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Minnesota 46-10. It was Minnesota’s first win in Columbus in 24 tries.
The loss snaps Ohio State’s eight-game win streak, the longest since the 2006-07 season.
It marks the first conference loss for Ohio State at home since Feb. 18, 2007 against Michigan State 11 in a row.
Head coach Jim Foster is 83-21 in Big Ten regular-season games at Ohio State.
Ohio State has won 36 of its last 38 Big Ten regular-season games at home and 68 of its last 78 overall.
Lavender has scored in double figures in all 48 career games. That streak is currently the sixth-longest in the country.
Lavender leads the Big Ten with 12 20-point games this season.
Lavender now 906 career points in only 48 games and is on pace to become the second-fastest player in Ohio State history to eclipse 1,000 points. Katie Smith was the fastest at 52 games while Frani Washington did it in 56.
Freshman Samantha Prahalis finished with 16 points with four assists and went 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Ohio State shot 20-of-22 from the free throw line as a team (90.9 percent)
Ohio State lost for the first time in 30 games when making more free throws than its opponent. They are 12-1 this season and were 18-0 a year ago.
Minnesota collected 11 offensive rebounds and outscored the Buckeyes 15-0 in second chance points. The Gophers won the battle on the boards 34-21.
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
“They outworked us on the glass. You can’t think of anything else when you look at the numbers.”
“We definitely didn’t do a good job of targeting the players that we knew we had to know where they were at all times.”
On Shavelle Little’s absence
“She gives energy to the game and we have to figure out a way to get that energy without someone giving it to us.”
On the game’s outcome
“We didn’t follow the things we went over last night and today. Our lack of concentration is a question that needs to be answered.”
On the physicality of the game
“They were the most physical team that we have played, but that’s the way they play. That’s how they played before, so the only one that should have been surprised is Prahalis.”
On the locker room atmosphere
“We talked about how we need to do a better job of communicating on defense and reversing the ball. We start games not reversing the ball because we want to score quickly and we don’t take all the options we have on the floor.”
Jantel Lavender, sophomore center
On what went wrong during the game
“I knew they were physical down low. I should have changed up the way I boxed out. I should have found different ways to box out during the game.”
On the game
“We let them outwork us. We didn’t rebound well, which was a huge part of this game.”
On not having Big Ten competition this weekend
“I think this time off will be good for us. It will give us time to work on the things we need to work on.”
“I don’t like losing at home I don’t like losing period. We did a lot of things to beat ourselves tonight.”
Samantha Prahalis, freshman guard
On Jantel Lavender
“They were doubling up on the back. It was hard for her to maneuver and I had a bad pass there at the end.”
Brittany Johnson, sophomore guard
On what the Buckeyes learned as a team
“We need to learn how to play our game at all times and play hard every time. We need to come together and keep our heads up. We need to focus on the game and not get down.”
Pam Borton, Minnesota Head Coach
On the game
“I thought we gave a great team effort tonight. We played well defensively and really closed the lanes down. We didn’t play perfect, but we made enough plays down the stretch to finally get a win in Columbus.”
On the foul situation
“I wasn’t worried (about Ohio State being in the bonus). What worried me most was the adversity we faced on the court. We did a good job of overcoming it and got the victory.”
On the defensive pressure put on Jantel Lavender
“I think we have two of the best defensive post players in the country. They did a good job of getting her out of the lane. We stuck to the game plan the whole game and didn’t let her beat us.”