12:00 PM ET, December 22, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Despite a bum knee and a shooting slump, Marscilla Packer showed up just in time for No. 18 Ohio State.Packer hit four critical 3-pointers in the second half to finish with 23 points and the Buckeyes pulled away to beat Nebraska 86-74 Saturday, ending the Cornhuskers' six-game winning streak."I wasn't thinking. I was just shooting," said Packer, who had made just 19 of 62 (31 percent) of her shots from the field in the previous five games.Jantel Lavender added 21 points and Tamarah Riley scored 11 of her 13 in the second half for the Buckeyes (9-2), who won their fourth in a row in their final tuneup before beginning Big Ten play on Dec. 30 at Michigan State.Danielle Page scored 16 points and Tay Hester and Cory Montgomery each had 14 for Nebraska (9-3), which had not lost since Nov. 24 against Creighton in the Oahu Classic."We were hearing before the game that Packer was not going to play because of her knee," Cornhuskers coach Connie Yori said. "Then she comes in and gets 23 against us. She really lit us up."Packer hit three 3-pointers from the left corner -- she had to reset her feet one time so she didn't step on the side out-of-bounds line because she was so deep -- while Ohio State slowly pulled away. Her third 3 in the span of five Buckeyes' baskets put them ahead 54-49 before Ashlee Trebilcock's pass led to an easy layup by Star Allen at the 14-minute mark of the second half.The Buckeyes built the lead to 11 points before the Cornhuskers narrowed it to 71-66 with 4½ minutes left on a free throw by Hester, a 3-pointer by Montgomery and two foul shots by Dominique Kelley.On their next trip down the floor, the Buckeyes passed to Packer on the left wing and she hit another shot behind the arc. The Cornhuskers never threatened again."Our kids did some really good things tonight," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "This was the first time we had really played much zone. We did a good job of recognizing where the shooters were and finding them, and we did a great job on offense of getting the ball where it needed to be."Packer finished 8-of-11 from the field, including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers."Obviously, Packer's 3s in the second half pulled them ahead and put them in a good position," Yori said.Asked about her knee, Packer said, "It's going to be sore, but it's OK."The Buckeyes shot 63 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 55 percent."We got it together, slowed it down and we played how we're supposed to play in the second half," Riley said.Lavender, a freshman who has scored in double figures every game as a collegian, was frequently double-teamed in the second half after scoring 15 points in the opening 20 minutes.The teams swapped sloppy play in the opening half.The Buckeyes took a 37-36 lead, but had trouble on the boards, trailing 20-16, and shot just 35 percent from the field (14 of 30). The Cornhuskers had 12 turnovers to Ohio State's 10.Each team ended up with 21 turnovers.The Cornhuskers were playing their second game in a row without second-leading scorer Kelsey Griffin, sidelined with a rib injury."We hope to get her back for the Big 12," Yori said, referring to the Jan. 9 opener against Texas. "We'll see how it goes."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-67 (.418)||33-60 (.550)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-20 (.450)||5-11 (.455)|
|FT Made-Attempted||9-13 (.692)||15-17 (.882)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|