The Buckeyes and the Fighting Illini combined for 180 points, but it was Ohio State that came out on top with a 96-84 victory. Tayler Hill and Samantha Prahalis led the Buckeyes down the stretch to secure the fourth victory in a row for the home team.
Hill and Prahalis finished the day with 26 and 28 points, respectively. Amber stokes also had a solid day and finished the game with 16 points.
"They're good with the ball in their hands," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said about Prahalis and Hill. "There's more room to operate and more complementary attributes for their skills with all five players on the floor. This team, our attributes, fit together nicely"
But the Fighting Illini are not a team that many opponents overlook. Just about every game the team has played has come down to the wire, with Illinois coming up short each time. Four of their previous six conference games was decided on the final possession or in overtime.
Illinois hung with Ohio State for the duration, fighting to a tie at 76 points apiece with just more than five minutes to play. But then the Buckeyes finished the game on a 20-8 run to seal yet another victory in Columbus.
The Fighting Illini were hampered by an absence in their lineup. Kersten Magrum averages more than 12 points and six rebounds per game, but she missed her third game in a row because of symptoms of a concussion she sustained against Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago.
The Buckeyes have been particularly dominant in the Schottenstein Center. The team is 113-8 at its comfortable home quarters since the start of the 2004-2005 season. That record includes a 55-5 mark in Big Ten play.
The official attendance for Sunday's game was 6,687. That is the biggest crowd at Value City Arena for a women's basketball game in nearly two years.
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