AUBURN, Ala. No. 17 Ohio State (3-1) dropped its first game of the season Sunday, falling to No. 20 Auburn (4-0) 87-80 in overtime at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum in Auburn, Ala.
Ohio State led 75-72 in the final minute of regulation, but Auburn’s Alli Smalley connected on her fifth 3-pointer of the game with 28 seconds remaining to tie the score. The Buckeyes had one last chance, but Samantha Prahalis’ 3-pointer hit the back of the iron, sending the game into overtime.
The Tigers scored the first four points of the extra frame until Ashlee Trebilcock hit her third 3-pointer to make the score 79-78. But Auburn would score the next six points to put the game out of reach as time ticked away. The Buckeyes then went just 2-for-7 shooting in overtime while Auburn was 6-for-9.
Auburn’s Sherell Hobbs had a steal and layup with 54 seconds left in the extra period to seal the win for the Tigers (4-0). She finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four steals and hit back-to-back baskets to spark the 6-0 run in overtime.
Auburn jumped out to a 53-42 lead with 15:28 left in the game, but Ohio State regrouped after a timeout and went on a 21-3 run over the next 8 minutes, capped off when Prahalis found a streaking Lavender running the floor as the Buckeyes took a 63-56 lead with 7:08 left.
Smalley, who was a thorn in OSU’s side all game, finished with 23 points, including hitting five 3-pointers. DeWanna Bonner added 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for Auburn while Whitney Boddie had 14 points and 11 assists.
Jantel Lavender led Ohio State with 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for her fourth double-double in as many games this year. Star Allen had 18 points and Prahalis scored 15 and dished out eight assists.
Both teams started out red-hot with the game tied at 14-14 at the first media timeout. Auburn hit six of its first seven shots while Ohio State hit six of its first nine.
Both teams played evenly for most of the first half until Ohio State hit a cold spell and went five minutes without a field goal until Prahalis hit a deep three with the shot clock winding down at the 2:56 mark to bring Ohio State within one at 32-31.
Auburn would eventually take a 42-38 lead into halftime with 11 points from Bonner and nine from Hobbs. Prahalis led the Buckeyes with 10 points and four assists in the first half with six points each from Allen and Lavender.
Trebilcock finished with 11 points off the bench for Ohio State while Brittany Johnson chipped in with eight.
Ohio State is back in action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Hartford at Value City Arena.