Every basketball season around the end of February and early March, colleges across the country get ready to say goodbye and thank you to their seniors.
Just was the case for the Ohio State women’s basketball as they honored four seniors, Cherise Daniel, Shavelle Little, Maria Moeller and Andrea Walker. This group came in when the team had two Big Ten titles in the trophy case and they’ll be leaving with four more as the legacy continued on their watch. This group has 106 wins, three shy of the school record, 109.
The night was set up beautifully as Northwestern was in town. This is a team that the OSU women usually beat. OSU has a record of 37-15 overall in the series, 17-9 in Columbus, 19 wins in a row plus they were 18-1 at home for the season.
But this season, Northwestern has been tough to beat. In Evanston, Ill., on New Year’s Eve, Ohio State escaped with an 86-80 win. And last night the final score before 5,429 fans, The score was 78-47. It took a second half scoring binge of 48 points to put the game away.
The OSU women came out and started off quick and led 18-4 and 20-6 before Northwestern knew what hit them.
After a Wildcats timeout at 10:33 of the 1st half, the visitors started to make their way back into the game. Northwestern was able to shoot 3′s and Ohio State started to miss shots and turn the ball over and score read, OSU 25 Northwestern 21. But then the Buckeyes showed why they’re the class of the Big Ten, by pushing the lead out to 30-25 at the half.
But in the 2nd half, it was a different game. Ohio State took control on fast break points, 10-0, in the paint, 26-10 and bench points, 17-3. Plus, they made 6 of 8 for 75% on three-point goals and 21 of 34 from the field for 61.8% and 51.6% for the game.
The fun continued late in the game as head coach Jim Foster put all of the seniors on the floor to get their last applauses before the home crowd. Each of the seniors scored a basket but Cherise Daniel and they tried to get her the ball but time ran out.
The 27-4, 15-3 Buckeyes were led by Jantel Lavender with 26 points, 12 rebounds; Samantha Prahalis chipped in with 14 points and 14 assists.
Northwestern, which has had one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation from 7-23, 3-15 in the Big Ten to 16-12 and 7-10, was led by center Amy Jaeschke with 22 points and Cincinnati native Kendall Hackney with 11 points and 7 boards.
Ohio State is off until Friday March 5 when they play the 6 p.m. game against the winner of the #8-#9 game. Northwestern will play in the Thursday March 4 games which hasn’t been determined as of yet.
SOUNDS OF THE GAME
44 339 Jim Foster on why the 2nd half OSU able to push ball… 44 342 Samantha Prahalis OSU G 2nd half play gets team in sync…44 344 Jantel Lavender OSU F in 2nd half they wasnt going to lose. ..44 345 Samantha Prahalis OSU G 2nd half was fun for team... 44 348 Maria Moeller OSU G leaves OSU.with Big Ten titles staying put.
* The Big Ten women’s basketball player of the week honors have been going back and forth between two Buckeyes all season. Samantha Prahalis has won it four times: November 23, January 11, January 18 and February 8. Jantel Lavender has been selected three times: November 16, December 7 and December 29.
* Samantha Prahalis is just the second Division I player since 1999-2000 to average at least 16 points and 8 assists per game. La’Terrica Dobin (16.0) and 8.0 assists per game from Northwestern State accomplished it in 2003-04.
* Brittany Johnson is shooting 48.8 percent from 3-point land this season, the best in the Big Ten and fifth-best in the NCAA.
* The Ohio State Buckeyes since Jim Foster has been head coach, have made it tough on opposing teams. 87-5 at Value City Arena and 12-1 at St. John Arena.
* Northwestern freshman Dannielle Diamant and fifth-year senior Kristin Cartwright did not have to go very far to get feedback on their hoops skills growing up. Diamant is the granddaughter of legendary UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian. Cartwright is the daughter of former Chicago Bulls star and current Phoenix Suns assistant coach Bill Cartwright.
* Northwestern head women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown is bringing in a familiar face next basketball season. It’s his daughter, Meghan.
BIG TEN CONFERNCE NOTES
* If you look close at the conference standings, you’ll see that every Big Ten team has at least 6 wins for the first time in history. Never before had every Big Ten squad recorded five or more conference wins. Also, every Big Ten team has at least 13 overall wins, which is a conference first. Prior to this year, never before had every Big Ten team posted 10 overall wins in a season. The Big Ten is the only conference in the nation with all of its teams at or above 13 wins on the season and at or above six conference wins.
* Michigan State’s Allyssa DeHaan became the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocked shots last week with a career total of 490. Also, when she leaves the Spartans program, she’ll be remembered as one of the most decorated players in the program’s history. Currently, the tallest women’s basketball player in the nation at 6’9, DeHaan hopes to become a pediatrician.
* The Big Ten continues to boast one of the strongest RPI rankings in the nation, remaining the only conference in the country to place all its teams within RPI’s top 90. In addition, no other conference places all of its teams within the top 100. Number 10 Ohio State continues to lead the Big Ten, followed by Number 16 Michigan State and Number 29 Wisconsin. Penn State made the Big Ten’s largest leap, jumping eight spots, while Illinois and Northwestern both improved six places last week.
* Ohio State’s Sarah Schulze aspires to become a missionary after her basketball career is over. The comparative religious studies major has not missed a Sunday church service since high school, even when the Buckeyes are on the road. She says a Rosary prayer before every game and would like to do missionary work in Africa or Haiti after graduation.