No. 11 Ohio State Too Much For Upstate
COLUMBUS, OH.-Kim Roach scored a career-high 15 points, but three-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender proved to be too much for USC Upstate, as she captured her 63rd career double-double with 33 points and 15 points, leading No. 11 Ohio State to an 87-55 win over the Spartans Tuesday evening at Value City Arena.
Roach's career night saw her connect on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-6 from the charity stripe, accounting for her career-high performance. Eleven of Roach's 15 points came prior to the intermission. She was the only Spartan to total double figures evening, as Upstate struggled shooting the ball for the second-straight game, connecting on just 33.3-percent (23-of-69) from the field.
The Spartans were severely hampered by foul trouble, in particular to Chelsea McMillan and Lauren McRoberts, who struggled to find their usual consistency as a result of being saddled with early infractions.
McMillan, who scored 19 points and grabbed eight boards in the 92-64 loss at Indiana State on Saturday, was held to just eight points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 from the charity stripe. Her six rebounds led the Spartans, who as a team, were out-muscled on the glass against the bigger Buckeyes by a 58-35 margin. McMillan was called for her fourth personal foul with 13:04 remaining in the game.
For awhile, the Spartans seemed undaunted by the Buckeyes' elite status in NCAA Division I women's basketball, holding their own with the six-time defending Big Ten Champions.
After falling behind 8-1 in the early stages, the Spartans mounted a 6-0 run to cut the Buckeyes' lead to 8-7 on freshman Madisen Webb's transition lay-up, with 15:29 remaining in the opening half. Moments later, a Roach lay-up would cut keep the Spartans close with a transition basket, making it 11-9 with 14:57 to go in the opening half.
However, that would be as close as the Spartans would get the remainder of the game, as the Buckeyes showed why they were among the nation's elite from that point, mounting a 13-4 spurt to claim their first double-digit (24-13) advantage of the night and never looked back.
The Spartans would battle to a 46-24 halftime deficit, and held their own in the early moments of the second half until the Buckeyes' size and strength underneath eventually took over. The Spartans struggled from three-point range, connecting on just 13.3-percent (2-of-15) from three-point range.
Kendra Wallace added seven points, knocking down one of the Spartans' two trifectas in the contest, while sophomore point guard Tee'Ara Copney posted four points and a team-best six assists, giving her 16 helpers in the two-game, Midwest road-swing.
Lavender was as good as advertised, connecting on 13-of-19 shots from the field and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe to total her 33-point effort. Meanwhile, the only other Buckeyes in double digits were shooting guard Tayler Hill and forward Sarah Schulze, who scored 13 and 11 points, respectively. Samantha Prahalis, who entered the contest averaging 17.0 PPG, was held to only two points.
The Buckeyes held a significant advantage at the free throw line, connecting on 21-of-30 charity shots, while the Spartans were just 7-of-12 on freebies in the contest.
The Spartans drop their overall record to 3-4 on the campaign, but remain 1-0 in league play. Ohio State improves to 8-1 on the campaign. Upstate will step back into conference play Thursday night, hosting Campbell at The Hodge. Tip-off for that contest is set for 5 p.m.