Illini women suffer rout at hands of No. 17 Buckeyes

By Anthony Zilis

The Illinois women’s basketball team led midway through the first half on Monday night, but eventually became No. 17 Ohio State’s latest victim in a 67-35 rout at the Assembly Hall.

The Illini shot 14 of 56 from the field and failed to connect from beyond the arc. The 35 points were the Illini’s lowest point total since 1972 and the second-lowest in team history.

The Illini started strong, leading 14-13 with 7:44 remaining in the first half. But the Ohio State offense came alive in the second half, scoring 40 in the period on their way to their fifth win in as many Big Ten games.

As a whole, Ohio State (14-2, 5-0) shot an impressive 48 percent from the field, including 39 percent from three-point range. Reserve Brittany Johnson was key in hammering the nail in the coffin, hitting four three-pointers to finish with 14 points in only 16 minutes.

Johnson’s game is just one testament to Ohio State’s depth, as the Buckeyes had four players in double figures. Not included in the four was freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis.

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Prahalis, one of the frontrunners for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, dished out nine assists and dazzled the Illini with a no-look pass that resulted in an Ohio State basket. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender also impressed with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

But for the Illini (4-12, 0-6), it was just another loss in what has become a disastrous start to the Big Ten season. Jenna Smith had 14 points and Lacey Simpson registered 12, but once again their individual efforts went unrewarded. The Illini have lost seven straight and 13 of 14.