COLUMBUS, Ohio – Redshirt junior Amanda Leigh matched her career high with five 3-pointers to finish with a team-high 15 points, but that was not nearly enough as UNC Greensboro fell to No. 3 Ohio State on Wednesday, 89-56.
All-American Jantel Lavender scored a game-high 27 points for Ohio State (6-0), which also got 13 points and 11 assists from Samantha Prahalis and 11 points from Sarah Schulze. Agne Girstautaite was also in double figures with 10 points for the Spartans (1-3).
UNCG's solid 3-point shooting kept it close early, as the Spartans hit five of their first seven attempts from long range. Leigh did most of the damage, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc in the opening stanza.
The Buckeyes led by just one at the first media timeout, as a Schulze 3-pointer gave OSU an 8-7 lead. But Ohio State came out of the timeout on a 6-0 run, with Schulze hitting a jumper and Lavender dropping in consecutive layups to push the score to 14-7.
Leigh and Kendra Smith sandwiched 3s around a Prahalis jumper to get UNCG's deficit back down to three points at 16-13 with 13:20 to play in the first half, but Ohio State answered with an 8-0 run to get its lead into double digits for the first time.
Another Leigh triple got the margin back to eight points, but an Alison Jackson layup on the Buckeyes' ensuing possession put the lead in double figures to stay.
The Spartans would get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way, with Monique Floyd's steal and layup making it 34-23 with 3:49 left in the first half.
The Buckeyes would push their lead to as many as 18 before the break, and Prahalis banked in a turnaround jumper at the horn to give OSU a 43-25 advantage.
Ohio State continued to build its lead after the half, and UNCG went more than four minutes without scoring in the early going. After Lakiah Hyson's jumper at the 16:19 mark, the Spartans did not score again until freshman Dayshaun Richbow rebounded her own miss and dropped in a layup with 11:59 left in the game.
Jackson's conventional three-point play gave Ohio State a 33-point bulge at 66-33 with 11:26 to play, but the Spartans played the Buckeyes straight up the rest of the way.
OSU stretched its lead to as many as 43 on a pair of Amber Stokes free throws with just over eight minutes to go, but UNCG closed the contest on a 21-11 run. Sophomore Sarah Folwell hit a pair of 3s in the final two minutes, and classmate Jazz Weaver hit a baseline jumper shortly after checking in for her first action of the season.
The Spartans were playing their first ranked opponent in more than two years. UNCG had not faced a top-25 team since taking on then-No. 10 Duke on Nov. 18, 2007.
UNCG finished 8-for-16 from 3-point range, but shot just 37 percent (23-f0r-61) from the floor for the game. The Spartans went to the free throw line for just two shots, with freshman Sidnei Harmon knocking down both.
The Buckeyes shot 52.9 percent from the floor (36-for-68) and was 12-for-16 (75 percent) from the free throw line. OSU hit five of its 11 3-point tries (45.5 percent).
Ohio State held a 43-29 rebounding edge.
UNCG held Ohio State two points below its season average of 91 per game. The Spartans also kept OSU starters Tayler Hill and Brittany Johnson from reaching double figures. The Buckeyes entered the contest with all five starters averaging at least 10 points per game.
"Ohio State is an outstanding team, with such balance," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "Prahalis at the point is just tremendous. I watched her play for years in AAU. Lavender is, my goodness, a guard in that body. She's just so agile and so strong and has such great touch. I feel certain that they'll have a tremendous year, and we're back to the drawing board. We move on Friday to Bowling Green."
The Spartans will face Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Friday. The game will feature sisters on opposing benches in UNCG's Amy Clapper and Bowling Green's Sarah Clapper.
OHIO STATE 89, UNC GREENSBORO 56
UNC GREENSBORO (1-3)
Amanda Leigh 5-12 0-0 15; Agne Girstautaite 5-9 0-0 10; Sarah Folwell 2-4 0-0 6; Monique Floyd 3-8 0-0 6; Dayshaun Richbow 2-4 0-0 4; Lakiah Hyson 2-7 0-0 4; Kendra Smith 1-5 0-0 3; Dee Corbett 1-3 0-0 2; Sidnei Harmon 0-0 2-2 2; TaShama Banner 1-2 0-0 2; Jazz Weaver 1-2 0-0 2; Amy Clapper 0-3 0-0 0; Agneta Morkunaite 0-0 0-0 0; Brey Dorsett 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 2-2 56.
OHIO STATE (6-0)
Jantel Lavender 11-17 5-5 27; Samantha Prahalis 6-10 1-2 13; Sarah Schulze 4-8 0-0 11; Brittany Johnson 2-6 0-0 6; Tayler Hill 2-5 2-3 6; Alison Jackson 2-3 2-3 6; Andrea Walker 3-4 0-1 6; Amber Stokes 1-5 2-2 4; Shavelle Little 2-3 0-0 4; Cherise Daniel 1-3 0-0 2; Emilee Harmon 1-2 0-0 2; Aleksandra Dobranic 1-2 0-0 2; Maria Moeller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-68 12-16 89.
UNC Greensboro 25 31 56
Ohio State 43 46 89
3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 8-16 (Amanda Leigh 5-9; Sarah Folwell 2-3; Kendra Smith 1-1; Lakiah Hyson 0-2; Brey Dorsett 0-1), Ohio State 5-11 (Sarah Schulze 3-3; Brittany Johnson 2-4; Tayler Hill 0-3; Samantha Prahalis 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Ohio State-None. Rebounds—UNC Greensboro 29 (Agne Girstautaite 6), Ohio State 43 (Sarah Schulze 7; Jantel Lavender 7). Assists--UNC Greensboro 11 (Lakiah Hyson 3), Ohio State 22 (Samantha Prahalis 11). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 16, Ohio State 5. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, Ohio State-None. A-2956
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